On Friday afternoon, Dec. 27, the Crusaders hosted the Raiders of North Rockland in a non-league varsity girls basketball match up.
The Crusaders entered the game with a 6-0 record, having defeated Minisink Valley 65-16 on the previous Monday.
The Raiders entered the game with a 3-3 mark on the season.
The Crusaders and Raiders exchanged baskets in the first quarter. The Crusaders took a 15-12 lead with Olivia Shippee scoring four of her six points in the opening period.
The two teams battled through the second quarter and were deadlocked at 26 at the half with Crusader Toni Neely scoring seven points to keep pace with the Raiders.
Head Coach Dave Powers must have pushed all the right buttons in the locker room at half time as the Crusaders came out and ran off 16 unanswered points to start the second half.
Toni Neely again led the the Crusader onslaught, scoring seven more of her game high 23 points in the quarter as the Crusaders jumped out to a 42-26 lead.
The Raiders tried to stage a come back in the fourth quarter as they outscored the Crusaders 13-5 in the final period but another strong game from Crusader Savanah Paul on both ends of the court helped close the door on the Raiders.
The Crusaders' 47-39 victory brings their record to 7-0 on the season. Their next game will be on Monday, Jan. 6, when they host the undefeated Vikings of Valley Central in what might be round one of the game of the year in Girls AA Basketball this year.
- William Dimmit