LAND O'LAKES — Seffner Christian hasn't lost to a bay area team all season, and Thursday night's meeting against Academy at the Lakes proved no different.
The Crusaders never trailed and used their suffocating defense and explosive offense to pound last season's Class 2A state runnerup 64-24 for their fifth straight win.
"We're really playing very good basketball right now," Seffner Christian coach Greg Fawbush said. "We got in a little bit of a slump early in the season, but we have played three or four good games down the stretch here. So we're feeling really good about ourselves."
Led by juniors Peyton Walker (21 points) and Ally Parimore (14), the Crusaders dominated the Wildcats (14-4), including a 15-2 run during the first quarter.
Seffner Christian (16-3) kept up the pressure in the second. The Crusaders forced multiple turnovers and took advantage of sloppy play to hold AATL scoreless for more than five minutes en route to a 10-0 run and 23-point lead at the half.
Despite the wide margin, Fawbush wasn't completely satisfied, telling his players to "wake up" on multiple occasions during the first half.
"Our shots weren't falling early in the game, so we just picked it up on defense," Fawbush said. "We caused some turnovers, got some easy baskets. That helped us out down the stretch."
Seffner Christian piled on in the third to force a running clock for the remainder of the game after a layup from Kelly Cunningham with 3:52 left.
"This gives us a lot of momentum going forward," Fawbush said. "If you look at our schedule, we haven't had many gimme games. This is one we wanted and one that I wanted."