M-W defeats Washingtonville to capture the Jim Taravella Invitational Tournament
Photos by William Dimmit
Rob Vacco (#4) led the Crusaders with 15 points against the Washingtonville High School Wizards.
CENTRAL VALLEY — The Crusaders hosted JV and varsity teams from Washingtonville, Chester and Goshen on Friday night and Saturday afternoon, Jan. 19 and 20, for the annual Jim Taravella Invitational Tournament. Jim Taravella coached basketball at Monroe-Woodbury for 23 seasons. He led the 2005 Crusader team to the Section 9 title and was named Coach of the Year before he passed away in December 2006. The Crusaders beat the Gladiators of Goshen on Friday night 67-51 behind Rob Vacco’s 20 points. The Wizards of Washingtonville beat the Hambletonians of Chester 77-63 with Brendan O’Leary scoring 22 for the Wizards. The Crusaders and the Wizards then met on Saturday for the championship. The Crusaders got off to great start with Brandon Adams hitting two three-point shots in the first quarter to take a 17-9 lead. In the second quarter the Crusaders held the Wizards at bay with John McCormick scoring two big baskets in the paint to give the Crusaders a 31-21 half time lead. In the third quarter the Wizards cut into the Crusader lead but Rob Vacco’s six points helped the team hold the lead. In the final quarter it was Jayson Ongondo’s turn to hold the Wizards off, scoring seven points as the Crusaders went on to a 64-56 victory. The victory brings their record to 7-6 on the season. Their next game will be on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 2:30 p.m., against the undefeated and #12 ranked Pine Bush Bushmen. - William Dimmit