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January 8, 2013

GREG'S PICKS: Hayes, Warriors on a roll

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — In my years at the News and Tribune, we’ve never had a game finish after 10 p.m.

Saturday’s crazy Christian Academy of Indiana vs. Christian Academy of Louisville four-overtime contest finished well after 10.

With it finishing so late, there wasn’t much of a chance to spotlight the Warriors, and in particular Alex Hayes, who broke the CAI school record with 50 points during the stunning 83-82 victory.

So despite CAI not playing early this year, I thought it was appropriate to spotlight the Warriors and Hayes and recap Saturday’s craziness in my preview column.

Here’s why the game last until nearly 11 p.m.: it was Homecoming, Christian Academy honored Warrior legend David Scott as a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s Silver Anniversary team, there were 89 free throws shot, including 66 alone by the Warriors, then of course, there were four overtimes.

The freelancer who was assignment to cover the game — Will Clark — was unavailable because of a new job. Good thing. We would have had to pay him some serious overtime. And maybe hazard pay because of ear drum damage from all of the whistles.

The win was Christian Academy’s second straight following a four-game winning streak in which it had a chance to win every one. There was a 5-point loss at one-loss Paoli, and an overtime defeat at the hands of one-loss Switzerland County.

All season, CAI coach Tim Kerberg has believed his 5-5 team is better than its record and will be a sectional contender.

“We’ve had a chance to win almost every game we’ve been in,” Kerberg said. “We’ve just found ways to give games away. I love our team, but we’ve had to learn how to grow and how to win. We’re starting to learn those things and I’m so proud of them.”

The Warriors have a tough stretch coming up. After hosting Trimble County on Saturday, the next four opponents are Borden, Providence, Trinity Lutheran and Eastern. So there’s a good chance CAI won’t roll into Sectional 62 with an impressive record, but that won’t mean they may not have something for the field.

“I like playing tough opponents,” Kerberg said. “Sometimes we get caught up in wins and losses, but you have to ask yourself if you’re preparing yourself for the tournament. Those games, hopefully, will prepare us for a very tough sectional.

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