Haviland, KS – With first place in the Midwest Christian College Conference on the line, the Crusaders of Manhattan Christian and the Bears went toe to toe on Tuesday night. Early on in the game, it was a defensive juggernaut for both squads. The Bears took the early lead thanks to their interior play, however, the Crusaders began to break down the Bear defense with their drive and kick offense to take a 33-29 halftime lead. Midway through the second half, the Crusaders put together a run which built a double digit lead in which the Bears could never recover from. With under two minutes to go, the Bears trailed by just three, 63-60, but the Crusaders were able to knock down enough free throws and hit a clutch mid-range jumper to seal the victory 72-65. The Bears picked the wrong night to go cold from the field, shooting a dismal 33% from the field, including 23% from behind the arc, and 58% from the free throw line. Senior Toney Hatton led the Bears with 28 points and 7 boards but was one of only two players to score double digit points on the night. “It was a grind-it-out type of game which you would expect in this caliber of a game,” said Head Coach Royce Bryan. “We made improvements in some areas but were just unable to make enough plays, especially down the stretch. Hopefully we will learn from our mistakes and use this as fuel to finish out strong.” The Bears (12-5, 6-2) will finish MCCC play with a pair of games in Haviland this weekend. On Friday at 8:00 PM CST they host Calvary Bible and then Ozark Christian is in town on Saturday at 3:00 PM.

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