The Crusaders hosted the Bushmen of Pine Bush High School in the opening round of the OCIAA Section 9 playoffs at Monroe Woodbury High School, on Saturday afternoon. The Crusaders entered the game with a 12-8 record on the season, and the Bushmen, who finished first in Division 2, had a record of 10-9. The Crusaders had beat the Bushmen twice during the regular season, first 66-59 at Pine Bush and then 54-43 at home later in the season.
In the first quarter of play, the two teams exchanged baskets and leads. Senior Jeremiah Arne scored 5 of his 13 points in the game to help give the Crusaders a 13-12 at the end of one. In the second quarter, everything went wrong for the Crusaders as foul trouble began to take its toll, and the offense stopped scoring. The Bushmen took full advantage of the Crusaders slump and took a 32-17 half time lead.
After the break, Samuel Fileen hit two 3-point shots, as the Crusaders tried to claw their way back into the game, but the Bushmen held on to 43-32 at the end of three. In the 4th quarter Jankarlos Mendoza led the Crusader comeback attempt, scoring 15 of his 21 points, but the Bushmen held on and took a 62-53 victory.
The Crusaders’ loss brings their season to an end. The team finished with a 12-9 record this year. After leading his team to a winning record in his first season as head coach, James Hahn is looking forward to next season, as he will inherit some of the exciting young players from this year’s JV team that went undefeated.