DeMOTTE — Covenant Christian senior forward Ben Lins had such a hot hand Thursday against Heritage Christian you could almost see flames shooting from his fingertips.
The 6-foot-5 slasher and shooter had a night to remember, pouring in a career-best 51 points while shattering the school record for points in a game in his team’s 83-43 rout of Heritage.
Lins also owns the previous single-game performance by a Knight, scoring 40 points in a win over Oregon-Davis last season.
Lins was 5 of 10 from 3-point range and 17 of 25 from inside the arc, hit 2 of 3 free throws, added eight rebounds, two assists and three steals and swept the floor after the game.
He did it all against Heritage (4-11).
“We knew early in the game he was going to have quite a night,” Knights coach John Heerema said. “He hit a couple of deep 3s, and I mean NBA deep, and neither one hit the net. It was pretty special.”
Lins came into the game needing 26 points to pass former teammate Chris Beezhold for career points. After dropping in 22 points in the first quarter, Lins was well on his way.
The Knights (7-5) led 32-6 after the first period and 55-17 at halftime.
Lins would break Beezhold’s record of 1,247 in the first couple of minutes of the second period and finished with 39 first-half points.
Lins then added 12 points in the third and fourth quarters before sitting with 5:30 left in the fourth.
“He scored 51 points in 26-and-a-half minutes,” Heerema said. “He had 47 points by the end of the third quarter, and he had no turnovers, which is amazing when you consider how many times he had the ball in his hands.”
Lins’ teammates wanted to help him get to 50 points. Senior Cade Walstra added 10 points and senior Danny Bultema added nine assists and eight rebounds.
“I have to credit my teammates for getting me the ball,” Lins said. “It seemed like everything was going in, and I didn’t have that great of a warmup.”
Four 3-pointers in the first quarter paved the way for Lins’ big night.
“I hit a lot of deeper 3s,” he said. “For some reason, I’m usually better at hitting from way back behind the line than up close to the line.”
Lins also added two dunks.
“I was finding the gaps and kept driving to the basket,” he said. “I did miss two dunks.”
Lins finished the night with 1,272 career points with 10 games remaining on the schedule.
“I just feels good to get that record out of the way,” he said. “There’s no longer that extra pressure of trying to break it. Now I can just focus on my play now.”
He and his teammates will get plenty time to focus on their next game. The Knights won’t play again until next Friday when they host South Newton.
No. 4 Jeff routs Kougars
LAFAYETTE — Kankakee Valley’s boys’ basketball team continues to work through the toughest portion of it schedule, facing Class 4A No. 4 Lafayette Jeff on Tuesday night.
The Kougars surprised the Bronchos in Wheatfield last year — beating Jeff for the first time in school history — but Jeff was up to the challenge Tuesday, controlling the game from the get-go in an 86-61 rout.
The Bronchos led 46-31 in the first half as they threatened to score 100 against the Kougars, who were coming off a 38-point loss to state-ranked Munster (12-1) last Friday.
KV (3-8) got a team-high 16 points from sophomore Nick Mikash, with senior guard Gavin Herrema adding 13 points. Junior Eli Carden had 12 points and junior Riley Jordan and senior Tyler Martin had eight points each.
Division I talent Braxton Barnhizer had a game-high 20 points and eight rebounds for Jeff, which improves to 14-1. Brother Brooks Barnhizer added 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Kougars have lost four in a row and hosted Twin Lakes Friday night.
Covenant’s defense slows Trojans
FRANCESVILLE — Covenant Christian forced 31 turnovers and held West Central to 25 percent shooting from the floor in picking up a 61-36 victory in Francesville on Tuesday.
The Knights (15-2) jumped ahead 21-8 in the first quarter and added to their lead over the next three periods. They hit 52 percent of their shots, with freshman Skylar Bos going 8 of 13 from the field for a game-high 19 points. She added six assists and five steals.
Senior Hope Zylstra added 12 points and 13 rebounds with three steals.
The Knights took just seven 3-point shots to 27 for the Trojans, who fall to 3-15.
Junior guard Tori Culp had 14 points for West Central, hitting 4 of 10 3-pointers. She added three steals.
Junior teammate Emily Pilarski had nine points, senior Camille Wuethrich had six rebounds and four assists, junior Crisney Shepperd added six boards and senior Jillian Hauptli had six rebounds, three assists and three steals.