Tuning up for national tourney, KCS romps

Joey Brandenburg reflected back on his team’s first 28 basketball games (21-7), as the Knoxville Christian School boys drilled Faith Christian Academy of Jamestown 81-44 on KCS’s Allan and Wade Houston Court Thursday night, Feb. 10.

“I think it’s gone real well considering we’re still a young team,” coach Brandenburg said. “We’re playing a couple of eighth-graders. I think we’ve done really well growing and prospering through the season.

“I can say, with these group of guys, they work really hard,” he added. “Their grades are good. I’m really proud of them.”

The Knights’ high moment of this season came versus “New Faith out of Atlanta. We played them here and beat them 73-69,” the KCS coach said. “They’ve got a kid who’s a McDonald’s All-American; he’s up for Gatorade Player of the Year.”

Despite only playing his starting five together roughly half of the first quarter Feb. 10, the Knights rolled behind a game-high 12 points from junior guard Paul Stegmann. Sophomore post Zach Hammann and senior guard Edoardo Grimaldi each had 10.

Following a game versus Webb School of Knoxville Tuesday, Feb. 15 (after deadline), the Knights were headed to the National Association of Christian Athletes 51-team tournament representing schools “all over the country,” Brandenburg said of this showdown of U.S. powers Tuesday through Saturday, Feb. 22-26, in Dayton (Rhea County). “We’re in Division I, so we’re playing at the highest level. … Oak Hill, Hamilton Heights, Monterey.”