The Defenders broke open what had been a close game Wednesday against Lebanon. Damascus closed out the fourth quarter on a 20-9 run, sealing the deal on a 73-61 win and a berth this year's KCEA Class AA boys basketball tournament.

Damascus Christian Academy’s boys varsity basketball team punched its ticket to the KCEA State Tournament earlier this week.

The Defenders used a 20-9 fourth quarter run to break open a close contest and deal Lebanon Christian a 73-61 loss.

This special play-in game was hosted by Canaan Christian Wednesday evening...just before the region became buried in a giant snowstorm.

With the win, Damascus claimed a spot in this year’s state tournament. The Defenders are the #4 seed in the 2009-’10 Class AA bracket.

“We’re all very excited,” veteran Coach Lane Jones told TWI Sports. “It was a great win for the boys. They played very hard and came away with a really big win.”

Damascus now has the unenviable task of battling Emmanuel Baptist in the semifinals. The Patriots return all five starters from a team that won the state title last season.

“They’re a very good team,” said Coach Jones. “But, we’ve got a pretty solid scouting report and I think we can be competitive with them.”

Weather permitting, this contest was slated for Friday night in Collegeville.

Damascus and Lebanon battled nearly to a stalemate through three exciting quarters Wednesday in Varden.

The Defenders led by four at halftime, but saw that advantage whittled to just a bucket at the end of three periods.

Cody Fredo led the way offensively for Damascus.

The Defenders’ senior guard erupted for a game-high 29 points. Fredo’s biggest baskets of the game were two treys, one each in the third and fourth periods.

Cole Fredo and Caleb Jones also contributed key plays for Damascus.

Fredo powered his way to 23 points in the paint and also led the Defenders in rebounding. Caleb balanced Cody’s interior play with a deadly perimeter presence. Jones banged home four treys en route to a 16-point night.

Eighth grader Curtis Bates and seventh grader Andrew Sheard also provided solid minutes off the Defenders’ bench.

“These boys are a joy to work with,” Coach Jones said. “They’re great kids and I’ve really enjoyed coaching them this season.”

DCA broke open a tight game with a big fourth quarter run.

Lebanon actually drew even with Damascus early in the final stanza. However, Cody drilled a clutch trey and the Defenders went on to outscore the visitors 20-9.

Score by Quarters...
DCA (9-3)  19  15  19  20 - 73
LEB  (8-4)  15  15  21   9  - 61