The Crusaders will play in the Section 9 Championship on Saturday, March 7, at noon at Mt. Saint Mary’s College in Newburgh against the winner of the Pine Bush-Valley Central game that will be played Wednesday night.
The Crusaders, who are currently ranked #18 in the state, earned the top seed in the AA Division after posting a 19-1 record on the season along with an undefeated record in league play.
The Crusaders have won three of the last five Section 9 titles and have posted an impressive 86-23 record over the last five years.
The team is lead this year by Head Coach Dave Powers, the New York State Hall of Fame coach with more 500 wins, who took over this year. He coached the Crusaders Boys last year.
On the court the team is led by three four-year players: center Jamie Waldron and guard-forwards Toni and Taylor Neely.
Jamie has been a force on the boards this year, especially on the defensive end. Toni and Taylor have led the offense with deadly three-point shooting along with fearless drives to the basket.
Senior forwards Savannah Paul, Kathleen Silverstein and Kiley Metcalf have all turned in a strong season to help the Crusaders.'
Freshman guard Olivia Shippee, this writer's pick for rookie of the year, has done a great job on both ends of the court.
The Crusaders beat Pine Bush in their two meetings this year - 55-24 and 42-34 - and Valley Central - 53-43 and 40-37.
The Crusaders should come into the championship as favorites but they have not played a game in nearly three weeks which can’t be good for a game with the speed of basketball.
- William Dimmit