STORY BY CHIP CIRILLO | PHOTOS BY WHITNEY JARRELD
When Braeden Moore and Bryce McCormick are clicking, Christ Presbyterian Academy is tough to beat.
Friday was one of those nights as Moore scored 26 points, including six 3-pointers, and McCormick added 21 in CPA’s 74-53 win over visiting Knowledge Academies in a Division II-A District 3 semifinal.
“I feel like (Bryce) always sets me up for good shots and I had to finish them,” said Moore, a 6-foot 7 freshman who is deadly from the corner.
CPA (23-8) will play Webb (22-6) in the championship at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
Knowledge Academies (15-11) will face Battle Ground Academy (11-13) in the third-place game at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
“I knew Braeden felt really good about his shot from the very first one he attempted,” Lions coach Drew Maddux said. “His ball looked good, he was shot ready.”
Maddux said Moore shot well in Thursday’s practice and the Friday shoot-around, so he knew he would get loose Friday.
“Bryce is the engine that makes us go,” Maddux said. “We ask him to do so much. I know at halftime he had eight assists and I don’t know what he ended up with, but he just is a tremendous passer. And when it’s time to go to the rim, he’s a great finisher.”
Braden Zapp added 13 points for the Lions, who won for the 13th time in 14 games.
CPA took charge early, grabbing a 25-7 lead after the first quarter.
“It’s something that we always talk about, especially in big games, throwing that first punch,” Maddux said. “Really wanting to be aggressive coming out, shooting with confidence, playing with freedom. Then the other team is chasing you all night and it’s just so difficult in a big game.”
Knowledge Academies was shorthanded without two forwards sidelined by ankle injuries: Savon Wykle (16.5 ppg) and Quenton Brooks (6.5 ppg).
“Savon is a great scorer,” said Tigers coach William Kizzie, a former start at McGavock and Fisk. “So, two of my more athletic guys, leapers, rebounders and scorers. So, it didn’t help that they were gone. Between the two of them that’s another 14, 15 rebounds. One’s 6-4, one’s 6-3 and they both jump above the square. But CPA outplayed us tonight.”
Kizzie hopes Wykle will return by the region tournament.
Mathew Daniel led Knowledge Academies with 17 points, but he was the only Tiger in double figures.
The loss ended the Tigers’ five-game winning streak.