HUNTINGTON, W. Va. — Consider it an early Christmas present for Elijah McDonald — and the remainder of the Ohio Valley Christian School boys basketball squad.
That’s because the senior sharpshooter McDonald scored his 1,000th career point on Saturday, and the Defenders defeated rival Cross Lanes Christian 56-36 to capture the championship of the annual Covenant Christian Christmas Classic.
McDonald, amid making six total field goals and 7-of-8 free throws towards 24 points, managed his 1,000th career point in the process.
McDonald drilled five three-pointers on a dozen attempts as part of those 24 markers, becoming the seventh player in OVCS boys basketball history to join the 1,000-point club.
Austin Ragan racked up 14 points and Hollis Morrison added 10, as the Defenders drained eight trifectas as a team — out of 21 total attempts for 38-percent.
Ragan rained in a pair and Morrison made one.
Justin Beaver, on two field goals and 2-of-2 free throws, boasted six points — as those four aforementioned Defenders were named to the all-tournament team.
In addition, McDonald was selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
With the victory, which was their third consecutive, the Defenders raised their record to 5-2 — as they got by Grace Christian 54-48 on Friday night in the tournament semifinals (see related story).
It was also OVCS’ second win in 10 days over Cross Lanes Christian, which the host Defenders downed 63-54 back on Dec. 8.
On Saturday, OVCS actually outrebounded the taller Warriors 30-23, and stymied Cross Lanes into a paltry 2-of-17 shooting from three-point range.
Both teams shot 11-of-25 for 40-percent from inside the arc, but the big difference was the 24 points the Defenders dialed up in three-balls.
Ragan registered six total field goals and Morrison made four, as Asher Peck posted a basket to round out the Defenders’ scoring.
Beaver and Ragan recorded six rebounds apiece, while Morrison mustered five as Ragan dished out five assists.
OVCS held a 19-13 advantage in total field goals.
The Defenders return to the road, and return to action tonight, when they travel to Wood County Christian for a 7:30 p.m. tip.
The matchup will follow the girls game (at 6 p.m.) between the two teams.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106