INDIAN ROCKS — Seffner Christian coach Greg Fawbush and Indian Rocks Christian coach Phil Farver weren’t sure what to expect from their teams Tuesday night. It took all of 43 seconds to get their answer.
The Crusaders jumped out to a seven-point lead thanks to a Sabrina Whiting 3-pointer and two turnovers, which forced the Golden Eagles to call a quick timeout to regroup. They never did.
Seffner Christian kept up the pressure and eased its way to a 73-25 win. It’s the fifth straight win for the Crusaders, and all have had a running clock in the second half.
It was also the first time Fawbush had the entire roster at his disposal. Forward Tesha Hanson returned for the first time this season after sustaining a right knee injury six months ago. She scored 12 in her debut.
Peyton Walker led Seffner Christian with 15 points. Whiting and Ally Parimore each added 14 points.
“We’re not even sure how good we are yet,” Fawbush said. “This was the first game where we’ve had all our players. We’ve only had one practice with everybody.
“We’re still trying to figure this thing out. We don’t even know how good we can be. This is a good problem to have.”
Indian Rocks Christian (2-3) was playing without senior center Rachel Boyette, who was out because of illness. Even with Boyette in the lineup, the Golden Eagles were going to have a long night against the Crusaders.
“If we had Rachel, maybe we’re 10 points better, maybe,” Farver said. “That’s the best team we’ve played so far. They pass the ball very well. You can tell that’s a very good team.”
Thanks to its relentless fullcourt press, Seffner Christian scored the first 12 points and forced 12 IRC turnovers in the first quarter. With Walker and Hanson scoring layups and Whiting and Parimore draining 3-pointers, Seffner built a 28-7 first-quarter lead.
That lead grew in the second quarter when the Crusaders went on another 12-0 run. By halftime the score was 48-16. Nine of 10 Seffner players scored in the game.
The Crusaders are likely to get more of a challenge Thursday when they play at Academy of the Holy Names. And they’ll do it with a healthy Hanson.
“After taking that first fall and getting back up, that made me feel better,” said Hanson, whose father is USF director of basketball operations Reggie Hanson. “And after jumping off (the knee) it felt fine. I just have to get my rhythm back. It feels great to be back out there.”
Farver said it’s not time for his team to panic.
“We know what we are,” Farver said. “We’re going to beat teams we’re supposed to and we’ll struggle against teams better than us. But I thought we did some good things. We ran our halfcourt offense pretty well. We’ll be much better by the end of the season.”
Caroline Shelton led IRC with nine points. Brooke Morten, Autumn Frost and Kristen Lovelace each had four.