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Eden Christian boys aim for playoff berth

| Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Sewickley Herald
Eden Christian Academy junior Jeff Schmidt defends against a St. Joseph player during a game at Eden Christian Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald

The Eden Christian boys basketball team (1-1) is seeking more consistency this season.

The Warriors, who open Section 2-A play in two weeks, beat Cornell and lost to Quaker Valley. They played Western Beaver earlier this week. Results were not available before this edition's deadline.

Eden Christian finished fifth in the section in each of its first two years in the WPIAL.

“It's tough to miss the playoffs by one game,” junior Carter Ehms said. “We had moments that were good, but backed them up with moments that were bad.”

Ehms and senior Jeff Schmidt led the Warriors in scoring with 11 and 10 points per game, respectively, last year.

Ehms, a 5-foot-10 guard, is averaging 18 points so far this season.

“I want to improve on being a leader on the court, and be a calming influence,” Ehms said. “When things get out of hand in the heat of a game, or at a stressful point in the season, I want to stay focused.”

Senior Drew Helon, who has chipped in seven points per game, is showing improvement at center.

“Drew works extremely hard in the post and has gotten a lot stronger,” coach Todd Aiken said.

Seniors Paul Hidinger and Carter Smith round out the starting lineup.

Smith, the WPIAL Class A boys cross country champion this fall, said changing sports has been hard.

“I'm in shape from cross country, but I have to work on fast-twitch muscles for the sprinting you need in basketball,” said Smith, Eden Christian's first WPIAL champion in any sport.

Junior Ryan Koenig, sophomore Blake Carpenter and freshman Drew Aiken are reserves.

Todd Aiken likes his team's hustle.

“The guys do a good job passing the ball and setting up defensively,” the coach said. “Against Quaker Valley (a Class AAA school), we were competitive.

“We don't have a whole lot of size; other teams are bigger. We're going to have to be solid (in blocking out) defensively.”

Eden Christian, which averaged 58.7, outscored opponents by about 8 points last year.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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