Jaclyn Shambaugh Staff writer @jaclynshambaugh

In what’s become typical fashion for one of the state’s premier basketball programs, Trinity Christian did almost everything well in Tuesday’s game at Village Christian.

The Crusaders controlled the pace, executed on offense and persisted through a draining four quarters spent fending off a tireless pursuit by the Knights.

But probably nothing mattered more in Trinity’s 97-92 win than the Crusaders’ stellar performance from the free-throw line.

“That was the best night of free throws we’ve ever had,” assistant coach Chuck Webster said. “It was awesome. If we hadn’t shot free throws like that, we probably wouldn’t have won this game.”

The Crusaders (11-4) went 35-for-40 from the stripe, an 87.5 percent performance, and didn’t miss a free throw until the fourth quarter.

Trinity scored 16 of its final 18 points on free throws, helping the Crusaders hang on while the Knights (11-4) nipped at their heels.

Junior forward Joey Baker, who’s verbally comitted to Duke, led the Crusaders with 29 points. He turned in a 22-point second half, making back-to-back-to-back 3-point goals late in the third quarter to stretch Trinity’s to double digits.

He went 6-for-7 from the foul line and hit three free throws in the fourth quarter when he was fouled behind the arc.

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