On Saturday afternoon, Feb. 1, the Crusaders won the inaugural Crusader Challenge Tournament. T
he tournament featured four Varsity and four JV girls basketball teams from Warwick, Suffern, Tappan Zee and Monroe-Woodbury.
The opening round games were played Saturday, Jan. 25, and the consolation and Championship games on Feb. 1 at Monroe-Woodbury High School.
The Crusaders beat the Suffern High School Mounties last Saturday 52-25 to advance while the Tappan Zee Dutchmen defeated the Warwick Valley Wildcats 50-43 to set up their championship match up.
The two teams came ready to play and the championship game was not decided until the last few minutes of the fourth quarter.
In the first quarter the two teams exchanged the lead but a half-court buzzer beater by Taylor Neely put the Crusaders ahead 10-9.
The Dutchmen had a three-point lead with 1:14 left in the half before the Crusaders stormed back behind Jamie Waldron’s seven points and the Crusaders took a 21-19 lead into the locker room.
In a back-and-fourth third quarter Toni and Taylor Neely scored all 14 points for the Crusaders as they were able to maintain a 35-33 lead.
But the Dutchmen were not done and seized the lead early in the final quarter.
But Kiley Metcalf came off the bench and provideds a spark. With 1:34 left in the game she put the Crusaders ahead for good with a lay up and then closed the door on the Dutchmen with a three-point shot.
The Crusaders' 51-42 victory brings their record to 15-1 on the season. They were scheduled to host the Washingtonville High School Wizards on Monday.
- William Dimmit