Crusaders outplay the Goldbacks in semi-final game

Central Valley. The final score was 68-56 Monroe-Woodbury.

| 04 Mar 2024 | 03:42

On Thursday, February 29, the Monroe-Woodbury Crusaders boys’ varsity basketball team traveled to Newburgh to face the Goldbacks in an OCIAA Section 9 Semi Final matchup. The Crusaders came into the playoff game with a 15-5 (4-4 league) record, the #3 Seed. The Goldbacks had an 8-11 (5-3 league) record, the #2 seed. The Crusaders and the Goldbacks split their home and away series games this year. The Crusaders won at home 68-58 and the Goldbacks won in Newburgh 68-57.

The Crusaders jumped out to an early 7-0 lead with CJ Pearson scoring 7 of his 16 points in the game. The Goldbacks, however, fought their way back into the game and the Crusaders held a narrow 18-15 lead at the end of the first. In the second quarter, the Goldbacks kept coming on and tied the score 29 with 2:20 left in the half.

Jankarlos Mendoza scored 4 of his 9 points in the quarter and helped the Crusaders go into the half up 32-29. The Goldbacks came out after the half and wrestled the lead away from the Crusaders. That was when Nick Sanchez opened up from outside hitting three of his seven 3-point shots in the game, he scored 24 in the game. With Sanchez’s offensive surge, the Crusaders once again held a 48-45 lead at the end of the third.

The Crusaders surged ahead in the fourth quarter, taking a 9-point lead, with senior Jayden Desir leading the way by scoring 8 in the quarter. The Crusaders withstood the Goldbacks’ fourth quarter comeback attempt and went on to an emotional 68-56 victory. The Crusaders’ victory put them into the Section 9 Class AAA Final against the Kingston Tigers on Saturday, March 2.