Statesmen set tone early against Depaul Cristo Rey

New Hope scored the first 13 points of an Ohio Christian School Athletic Assocation regional final on Friday as it rolled past visiting DePaul Cristo Rey with an 88-42 win.

“DePaul Cristo Rey is a team that’s physically out matched us at most positions However, they have struggled to consistently score the basketball most of the season and have been suspect in their transition defense,” New Hope coach Shane Roese said. “Our game plan was to play relentless defense, including being strong on the ball and in the passing lanes, so we could create turnovers and we had to limit second opportunities. While offensively we wanted to get out in transition and attack the paint.”

Cristo Rey had to burn a pair of timeouts during the Statesmen run and was never able to recover.

The Statesmen ended the first quarter with a commanding 33-12 lead.

Clayton Rhyne knocked down six field goals, including a pair of three-pointers, and finished the period with 18 points. Andrew Swank followed with seven points and Lane Bruning chipped in five.

New Hope’s Clayton Rhyne scored a game-high 35 points in a OCSAA regional final.

New Hope extended its advantage to 57-23 at intermission.

Rhyne hit four more baskets during the second quarter on his way to 11 points and Bruning scored five additional points.

“We had our best week of practice all season, our guys were dialed in and executed the game plan,” Roese said. “We have won six of our last seven games and are playing our best basketball right now. They are fun to be in the gym with every day, they come to work and have stayed hungry to improve all season.”

Nine players reached the scoring column for the Statesmen, led by Rhyne with 35 points. Bruning followed with 18 points, and Hunter Cavanaugh and Swank each added nine points.

The Statesmen (15-7) play First Baptist Christian out of Elyria on Friday inside Ohio Christian’s Maxwell Center. Tip-off is the OCSAA semifinal is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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