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Warriors Win on Senior Night

Warriors Win on Senior Night

Seniors Tim Marchbanks, Jay Lems, and Zeb Green were honored before the game and Braydon Unruh scored his 1,000th career point (more here), as Calvary erased a 13 point deficit in the second half to come back and defeat the Crusaders 75-71.

Both teams were evenly matched as the game opened, and over the first ten minutes, the lead changed hands multiple times. Over the next five minutes, Dallas Christian went on a 7-0 run, as Calvary was continually unable to get a rebound off the first Crusader miss leading to second and third chance opportunities for DCC. Over the final five minutes of the half, the Warriors were outscored 14-8 and went into halftime trailing, 43-33.

In the second half, Calvary got off to a slow start and trailed by 13 before Zeb Green scored the Warrior’s first points of the half after nearly three minutes. CU then started chipping away at the Crusader lead. With just under 15 minutes to play Green again scored in the paint, the basket coming off of a great assist from Ques Harris, and cutting the Dallas Christian lead to seven. The Crusaders, however, were able to extend their lead back to 12, but Benjamin Jones knocked down a three which stopped the bleeding for Calvary. The Warriors then began to put it all together trailing by nine with just under eight minutes left.

CU turned up the defense and held Dallas Christian to just eight points for the rest of the game, leading head coach Matt Sanders to call the effort, “as good a second half of defense we have played all season.” Calvary cut the lead to six after a Cam Bender steal and assist to AJ Bordallo for an old-fashioned three-point play. On the next Warrior possession, Bordallo took the ball coast-to-coast for an uncontested layup to cut the lead to four with seven minutes remaining. The lead stayed at that margin until Green was able to score down low off another Bender assist and cut it to two with under five minutes left. With three minutes to play, Green cut the lead to just one, and after a pair of missed Crusader free throws, he tipped in his own miss to give the Warriors their first lead since the first half. With two minutes left, Dallas Christian retook the lead, but wouldn’t make another field goal in the game. With 40 seconds to go, it was Green again who gave the Warriors their final lead of the night. Braydon Unruh then split two pairs of free throws to give Calvary a three-point lead. At the other end, Dallas Christian was fouled shooting a three-pointer, but only connected on one of the three free throws. Benjamin Jones then knocked down a pair to ice the game for Calvary and give the Warriors a 75-71 Senior Night win. 

After the game head coach Matt Sanders talked very highly of the three graduating seniors saying, “Tonight was the culmination of four years of incredible growth, change, and God’s provision for this program. This win and this season wouldn’t be possible without Zeb, Jay, and Tim. They’re the pillars we have built this program on and God has truly blessed it and us.”

However, the game could have gone very differently for Calvary had Dallas Christian been able to knock down their free throws. Troubles from the line plagued the Crusaders all night as they shot only 34% and missed 13 in the second half alone. The Crusaders also shot only 18% from three-point range but were able to grab 18 offensive rebounds and shoot 41% from the field. The Warriors to their credit never gave up, and shot 48% from the field, while assisting on almost half of their made baskets. 

In his final home game, Zeb Green had yet another double-double leading the Warriors in both points and rebounds with 20 and 13 respectively. Benjamin Jones had 15 points and 6 rebounds. While Braydon Unruh and Ques Harris added 11 and 10 points. 

D’Aaron Davis lead the Crusaders with a double-double including a game-high 30 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. 

Calvary moves to 12-12 on the season after the victory and will look to close out the regular season with a win on Monday afternoon at Ecclesia College. 

Zeb Green Joins 1000 Point Club

Zeb Green Joins 1000 Point Club

Zebulun Green started his basketball career during his sophomore year of high school at Lighthouse Christian Preparatory School in Abbeville, Louisiana. He was one of the starting five for the team by the time he was a junior. In his three years of high school basketball, Green won multiple awards. During his senior year, Green was announced Most Valuable Player and was presented with the Christian Attitude Award. His team also won the Varsity Basketball State Championship in 2015.

Coach Matt Sanders recruited Zebulun and his brother Hajj Green, cousin Elijah “Shook” Bolden, and friend Kalif Spraggins to play NCCAA Division II basketball at CU. All four men signed to play for Calvary in 2016. During Green’s freshman year at Calvary, he was awarded Second Team All-Conference and Honorable Mention All-American.

During Zeb’s sophomore year he took a hit as he tore his ACL during a game on November 6th, 2017. This was one of the hardest trials he had experienced. This ACL injury took a substantial toll on both his physical and mental health. It was during this time that Green held onto the promises of God. He lived by one of his life verses, Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” This was proven to be true during his road to recovery.

Green had surgery on his ACL in March of 2018. Immediately after surgery, Green began the healing process at SERC Physical Therapy in Belton, Missouri. With the help of many therapists, whom Green still keeps in contact with, he was improving faster than expected.   Green stayed in Kansas City during the summer of 2018 to continue physical therapy. It was also during this time that he was employed with a bus company in Belton working hard, physical labor. Between his physical therapy, job, diet, and daily workouts, Green lost about sixty pounds that summer.

By the beginning of his junior year, Green was already back on the court. Despite the resistance from wearing an ACL brace, and occasional pain, Green had a phenomenal season. He averaged fifteen points and eight rebounds a game. Green was awarded First Team All-Conference and First Team All-Region.

Green is now finishing his senior year at Calvary with one of the best seasons he has ever had. He is currently averaging eighteen points and ten rebounds a game. He has added fourteen steals and nineteen blocks to his career stats as well. Green has already been presented First Team All-Classic at an NAIA tournament held at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas. Today, January 31st, we celebrate that Green has surpassed 1,000 career points in his Calvary career.

Many people have supported Green up until this moment. He is thankful for his parents, Linda and Randy Green. He is thankful for his brothers, sister, sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, and the rest of his incredible family. He is thankful for his girlfriend. He is thankful for his coaches and teammates, both in high school and college. He is thankful for everyone he has met along the way who came to any game to support him. But most of all, Green is thankful for God, who gave him his talent.

There is never a time where Green ceases to give all glory to God. He is a skilled, yet humble athlete.  It was not easy to come this far. It took years of hard work and dedication. Green admits this, but he also admits that despite his efforts, he could have never made it without the help of God.

As Green finishes his senior year of college basketball and graduates from Calvary University in May of 2020, Green only has one plan set before him: To go wherever God takes him.

We are so grateful to have the opportunity to have known Zeb Green.  He exemplifies what a Warrior is all about at Calvary University.  Well done Zeb!

Braydon Unruh Joins 1000 Point Club

Braydon Unruh Joins 1000 Point Club

Braydon Unruh has always loved basketball. He started playing organized basketball when he was five years old and has excelled and started for his teams at every level he has participated in.  His drive to be the best he could be with the talents God has gifted him has always been one of his most important traits.

He was a four-year varsity letterman for one of the best homeschool basketball programs in the country, the Metro Academy Mavericks.  Braydon’s high school career had many highlights. During his sophomore season, he was one of the leading three-point shooters in the state of Kansas with a percentage of nearly 46%. During his junior season, he made multiple game-winning shots against rival KC East and Bishop Seabury and helped lead his team to a ninth-place finish at the National Homeschool Tournament.  During his senior season, he helped to make Metro Academy one of the better teams in the KC metro area and arguably one of the best homeschool teams in the country, finishing with a program-best 35-7 record and a National Homeschool Tournament final four appearance where they lost a very close semi-final game to the eventual national champions.

His drive to excel has continued during his time at Calvary University.  During his freshman season, he demonstrated a desire to do anything to help the team by playing out of his natural position when injuries to Zeb Green and Zak Kirkman required it. He also showed flashes of his potential when he scored 27pts on 7-11 three-point shooting during a road game against Truett McConnell University. He ended the season as Calvary’s second-leading scorer at 11.3 points per game. He then spent the off-season after his freshman year working tirelessly on the things he saw he needed to improve on in order to help Calvary. 

His hard work paid off during his sophomore season.  Playing back at his natural guard position, he exploded from the start with 27pts against Union. He finished the season as one of the best three-point shooters in the country at 42.6%, the second-leading scorer at 13.3 pts per game and received conference and regional team honors. 

His junior year has seen him take another step forward in play.  He is currently one of the leaders in the country in scoring, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, three-point percentage, and three-point makes per game.  He also has produced some terrific highlights like leading the come from behind win against Trinity while scoring 21 of his 30pts in the last four minutes of regulation and OT.  He scored 26 in a come from behind win against Moody, 29pts in a close road win against Faith in his first game playing with a broken nose, 34 pts in a hard-fought overtime home win against Ecclesia.  Recently he netted 26 pts including what proved to be the game-winning 3pt play in a come from behind win on the road against Barclay.

Tonight Braydon Unruh joins the elite 1000 point club at Calvary University.  He has impacted the basketball program at CU in a major way.  Well done Braydon!  You represent Calvary University with excellence!

(Thank-you to Gary Unruh for contributing information in this article)

Warriors Continue Their Winning Ways, Defeat Central Christian

Warriors Continue Their Winning Ways, Defeat Central Christian

Calvary picked up their third straight win, and fifth straight at home, defeating the Saints 84-53.

Both teams started rather slowly as it took the Warriors two minutes to open the scoring, but after grabbing the early lead Calvary never trailed. CCCB was able to keep the game close through much of the first quarter cutting the lead to two after Calvary went on a 9-2 run. The Warriors though were able to keep the Saints at arm’s length and a buzzer-beater three from Taylor Hunter at the end of the first quarter put Calvary up 22-13. The Warriors didn’t slow down in the second keeping the lead in double figures for almost the entire quarter. Led by outstanding three-point shooting from Avery Kornstad, CU went into halftime up 47-28. 

The second half picked up right where the first left off. After a quick Central Christian basket, the Warriors went on an 18-0 run holding the Saints scoreless for over seven minutes. Calvary didn’t make a three-point shot in the second half, but they didn’t need to after outscoring CCCB 24-9 in the third quarter and leading by 34, 71-37. Calvary’s bench played most of the fourth quarter, with every player on the team getting at least 8 minutes of action. The Saints outscored Calvary in the fourth 16-13, but it didn’t make any difference as the Warriors cruised to another conference victory 84-53. 

Kornstad led the Warriors with 23 points, Hunter chipped in 18 points, and Shalom Sutcliffe added 13 points and led the team in rebounds with seven. As a team, the Warriors shot 45% from the floor and tallied assists on 18 of their 34 makes. Every Warrior either scored or had at least three rebounds. 

Taylor Branch and Elizabeth Willouer led CCCB with 14 points apiece. 

With the win, Calvary improves to 13-7 on the season and 5-1 in MCCC play. The Warriors hope to continue their home winning streak on Friday when they take on Ecclesia at the Pyramid. 

Calvary Falls Just Short in Loss to Tenth Ranked Saints

Calvary Falls Just Short in Loss to Tenth Ranked Saints

For the second game in a row, the Warriors jumped out to a quick start opening the game on a 9-0 scoring run. Over the next few minutes, Calvary continued to play well at both ends of the court leading 18-4 at the 15-minute mark of the first half. Central’s defensive pressure then began to get to Calvary, but the Warriors stemmed the tide and led by nine with ten minutes left before halftime. CCCB then went on a 17-3 run to take a lead of their own. Both teams went back and forth over the final five minutes, Braydon Unruh connected on a driving layup with one second left to send Calvary into the locker room down three 46-43. Head coach Matt Sanders said, “We got off to another hot start, but again couldn’t sustain it. We fought unbelievably hard and hung in there to keep it close at halftime.”

The Warriors started the second half quickly as well, going on a 7-0 run to open the half and retaking the lead. The rest of the game was tightly contested with neither team able to gain much of an edge. A pair of Calvary turnovers allowed the Saints to extend their lead to seven, but the Warriors immediately cut the lead to four and two possessions later were within one and for a short time were tied. CU just couldn’t seem to score over the final minute and a half coming up just short, losing 90-86.

Sanders said after the game, “It was a war of wills, and their will was greater than ours tonight. We just didn’t make enough plays to come out on top of the scoreboard. I’m super proud of my team and really thankful that they play for God and give glory to Him.”

Unruh led the scoring for Calvary with 25 points, Zeb Green added 17 points and nine rebounds. Benjamin Jones had a 14 point, 10 rebound double-double, and Ques Harris was also in double figures with 10 points. 

Andre Johnson led the Saints with 22 points. 

With the loss, Calvary drops back to .500 at 9-9 on the season and 2-4 in conference play. The Warriors are back in action against Ecclesia at home on Friday.