The sixth-seeded Warriors escaped the third-seeded Saints, in the first round of the Midwest Christian College Conference tournament, winning a tightly contested game 77-74.
Calvary started the game very well, as they have done against Central Christian before, opening the game on a 15-4 run. The Warriors were able to keep the high-scoring Saints in check over the first eight minutes, yet despite the great defense only led by nine. CCCB began to make a run and five minutes later the game was tied at 21. The Saints grabbed the lead and led for the rest of the half, extending it to as many as five. But Calvary was able to cut it down to just two and trailed at halftime 33-31.
The second half picked up right where the first left off, with both teams able to answer one another at both the offensive and defensive ends. Five minutes into the half Central was able to pull away slightly and held a 42-37 advantage. The Warriors were always able to keep the Saints within six points and with just over 11 minutes left back-to-back and-1 conversions from Zeb Green and Braydon Unruh turned a five-point deficit into a one-point lead, 51-50. This sparked the offense for Calvary and the Warriors pushed the lead back to 12 with five minutes left. The Saints wouldn’t go quietly, and with two and a half minutes left the Warrior lead was just 5, 71-66. CCCB cut the lead to three multiple times over the last two minutes and had a chance to tie the game at the free-throw line trailing by two, but couldn’t. The Saints had a shot at the buzzer to tie, but it didn’t fall as Calvary held on 77-74.
The third time was the charm for Calvary, after falling to the Saints by two and four points earlier in the season the Warriors were able to pick up a win when it mattered. After the game head coach Matt Sanders called it, “A huge win, we played tremendous defense, and the starters were fantastic.” The Warriors only scored three bench points in the game and only knocked down one three-point shot. “Winning with only one three is incredible, but really points to our total team defense. Zeb Green and Benjamin Jones were fantastic at that end.”
Green not only played well defensively but also led the Warriors in scoring with a big-time 25 point, 19 rebound double-double. He now owns the top three individual rebounding games in the country this season. Braydon Unruh had 15 points and 7 rebounds, Benjamin Jones had 13 and 8. Jay Lems had 12 including the Warriors’ only three-pointer.
Kedron Rollings led the Saints with 24 points.
With the win, Calvary advances to the semifinals on Friday, where they will take on the number two seed Barclay for a place in the conference championship game.
After a shaky first quarter, Calvary found their groove and beat the Thunder 81-52.
It was a relatively low scoring first quarter as both teams struggled to score. Calvary led for most of the period, but a Thunder three on their final possession sent Manhattan into the quarter break with a 14-12 lead. On the first possession of the second quarter, Taylor Hunter knocked down a three to retake the lead and Calvary never looked back. The Warriors opened the quarter on a 12-0 run and kept the intensity going on both offense and defense outscoring the Thunder 28-11 in the second. Calvary led 40-25 going into halftime.
The game was never in doubt in the second half as the Warriors quickly pushed the lead to 20. Manhattan tried to make a run multiple times in the third, but every time the Warriors had an answer and never allowed the Thunder to close the gap. Calvary was led by as many as 25 in the period and went to the fourth quarter up 69-45. In the fourth, the Warriors’ defense simply overwhelmed a fatigued Manhattan team holding the Thunder to just 4 points over the final eight minutes, easily taking the game by a 29 point margin, 81-52.
Head Coach Tressa Shoemaker was pleased with her team after the first round victory saying, “We were ready to play from the start defensively, but it took us a little bit of time to get the same rhythm offensively. Once we did, we never looked back and are excited about the next game.”
The Warriors scored 57 points in the second and third quarters alone, connecting on nine threes in those quarters, and shooting 32% from three on the game. Calvary also had 14 assists compared to 11 turnovers, to go along with 21 steals.
Taylor Hunter led the scoring for Calvary with a game-high 25 points and 6 rebounds. Avery Kornstad had 19 points and a team-high 7 rebounds, both Kornstad and Hunter connected on 4 three-pointers. Anna Davis added 11 points and 6 rebounds.
Kennedy Wilson led the Thunder with an 18 point, 12 rebound double-double. Her 12 rebounds were a game-high.
With the win Calvary, the second seed advances to the semifinals of the Midwest Christian College Tournament. The Warriors will play Barclay, the number three seed, on Friday with a spot in the championship game on the line.
Calvary is pleased to announce that Josh Johnson has accepted the position of Head Volleyball Coach for the 2020-21 season. Coach Johnson is a 1997 Kearney High School (Kearney, MO) alumni. He joined the Calvary family as our Dean of Men and Assistant Basketball Coach in August of 2019. His primary role as Dean of Men at Calvary will continue as he takes on this new responsibility. His coaching resume includes time coaching for the AISJ Lions of Jerusalem, Israel from 2016-2019. Before AISJ, he coached the Molina High School Jaguars (Dallas, TX) from 2011-2016.
In high school he was a multi-sport athlete. Josh’s youth pastors at Kearney Bible Church were all Calvary students and he has many fond memories of Calvary from his youth. Josh attended Bryan College (Dayton, TN) on a Tennis scholarship.
Coach Johnson has a Bachelor′s Degree in Christian Education from Bryan College (Dayton, TN) and is currently pursuing his ThM from Tyndale Theological Seminary (Bedford, TX). He is excited to continue building the successful volleyball tradition at Calvary University.
His priority with each team is for them to show love to each other. This is his first opportunity to coach a team made up of such a high number of believers in Christ, so he is excited to see how that priority will grow with the truth that his players know Christ’s love for us. His second goal would be for his team to find joy on the court given the goodness of God and the gifts He’s given us.
Josh’s life verse is Hosea 6:3 – “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.”
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.
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!