On Friday evening, Jan. 17, the undefeated Crusaders played host to the Presidents of FDR High School.
The Presidents entered the game ranked #4 in the state in the A Division while the Crusaders entered the game ranked #9 in the State at the AA Division.
With both teams ranked in the top ten in the state in their separate divisions the game could be viewed as a mid-season test for both squads.
The Crusaders controlled the play under the boards in the first quarter with Jamie Waldron’s shot-blocking on defense and Savannah Paul’s six points on offense. The Crusaders were able to edge ahead 9-7.
In the second quarter the Presidents surged ahead with their tough defense but Paul scored five more and Kiley Metcalf hit a big three-point shot to keep the Crusaders close. Still, Monroe-Woodbury was down by seven points at the half.
The Crusaders began to cut into the Presidents' lead as Toni and Taylor Neely began to come alive on both ends of the court. But the Presidents still led by eight at the end of the third.
Finally, the Crusaders did what they have done so often this year: They took over the game.
The defense shut out the Presidents and, when Metcalf stole the ball and scored a lay up with 5:50 left in the game, the Crusaders took the lead for good.
Waldron scored seven more and Taylor Neely knocked down two big three-point shots as the team went on a 20-0 run to end the game.
The Crusaders passed their midterm exam and appear ready for a run into the post season again this year.
The Crusaders' 48-34 victory brings their season record to 13-0 on the season. Their next game will be at home on Saturday when they take part in a tournament with Suffern, Warwick and Tappen Zee.
- William Dimmit