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Lady Crusaders pummel Northwood for 26-0

Feb. 7—Grace Christian isn't located in Chatham County, but the Lady Crusaders could claim to be the champions of it after Monday night.

The top-ranked Lady Crusaders are winding down the regular season, and as they gear up for the state playoff, Grace is continuing to take on all comers. Monday night's opponent was one of Chatham's two women's basketball powerhouse teams, the Northwood Chargers. Earlier this season, Grace hosted the Chargers' arch-rivals from Seaforth, and now Northwood came into Torgerson Gym to take its swing at the Lady Crusaders.

The Chargers, who lost two close games to Seaforth in conference play, couldn't do any better than the Hawks had. Grace won the game 76-37 and is now a perfect 26-0 on the season. The Lady Crusaders are ranked No. 1 in the NCISAA 3A and in the entire state of North Carolina by MaxPreps and No. 19 nationally by ESPN. Northwood (15-5) is ranked 10th in the NCHSAA 2A ranks.

Grace will finish the regular season Friday night with a 5:30 p.m. home game against Legacy Early College, a South Carolina prep school team it defeated 63-48 back on Jan. 5. Legacy (15-7) has won six in a row and is now the third-ranked team in South Carolina.

The Grace men play their next game Thursday night at 6 p.m. at Eastern Randolph, and then finish their regular season Friday night by playing Riverside Christian immediately after Grace's women's game with Legacy.

NCISAA state playoff brackets will be announced Sunday. The Lady Crusaders, who won the 1A title in 2022 and the 2A crown in 2023, will be the top seed in the 3A bracket for 2023. The Grace men have upped their MaxPreps ranking to No. 11 during their recent six-game winning streak and will look to keep improving in their last two games.