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Eden Christian basketball teams face key games

| Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Sewickley Academy's Justin Pryor tries to block a shot by Eden Christian Academy's Drew Helon during a game on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, at Eden Christian.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Eden Christian Academy's Ben Porter tries to defend against Sewickley Academy's Steven Munn during a game on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, at Eden Christian.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Eden Christian Academy's Jeff Schmidt looks to make a pass during a game against Sewickley Academy on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, at Eden Christian.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Eden Christian Academy's Blake Carpenter tries to defend against Sewickley Academy's Keenan Hickton during a game on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, at Eden Christian.

The Eden Christian boys and girls basketball teams had a lot in common entering this week.

In contention despite injuries to top players, both needed wins in Section 2-A games to qualify for the WPIAL playoffs.

With senior Carter Smith back after missing five games with an ankle problem, the boys (2-6 in the section) are stronger defensively, coach Todd Aiken said.

“He's our glue,” said Aiken, noting Smith is a solid rebounder and ball-handler.

Junior Carter Ehms leads the offense with 15.3 points per game.

Seniors Jeff Schmidt and Drew Helon average 10.7 and 11.1, respectively.

Ehms expects experience to help the team in the stretch. The Warriors barely missed the playoffs the last two years.

“We've been in the same spot,” Ehms said.

Several newcomers have contributed to a girls team (3-6) that is seeking its second straight playoff appearance.

Makenzie King, Grace O'Neill, Leah Bovard and Claire Wiest have played more than expected, coach Steve Good said.

“We weren't counting on them doing so well so soon,” said Good, who worried about a lack of depth early in the season.

Junior Jenna Santoro (11 points per game) and sophomore Nicole Hauskins (10) are the Warriors' leading scorers.

In her first year as a starter, junior Sarah Aiken has been scoring and rebounding more in recent games, Good said.

Junior point guard Abbie Bazzoli has struggled much of the season with finger and ankle injuries and was questionable this week, Good said.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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