BROOKSVILLE — Hernando Christian has suffered through turmoil this season, and everything seemed to worsen Tuesday night.
Jockeying for position for the district tournament, the Lions suffered a major blow in a tough 47-33 loss at the hands of Seffner Christian.
With Mike Drummond at the helm replacing former coach Trey Crawford for only the third game this season, HCA (5-3) was looking to secure a second seed in Class A, District 8. Crawford was forced to take a leave of absence following an incident this season in a game at Seven Rivers Christian.
"It's been a transition for all of us, obviously," Drummond said. "We're all out of our comfort zone, but we're all going to settle in."
Things looked good at the start. The Lions went up 10-4 before Seffner Christian (8-3) answered with a 25-4 run to close out the first half. Crusaders guard Alexandra Hagel (19 points, seven rebounds, five assists, four steals) was the spark plug for the visiting offense for much of the game. She even knocked down two 3-pointers.
"(Hagel) hurt us more than we thought," Drummond said. "We didn't adjust well."
What spark HCA did get came on the defensive end from center Courtney Crawford (six points, 10 rebounds, five steals, three blocks).
The game was delayed for 25 minutes at the six-minute mark of the fourth quarter because of a serious injury to HCA senior captain Madison Manuel. In a collision at midcourt, Manuel fell to the ground and collapsed. She was transported from the gym by ambulance.