On Friday evening, Dec. 17, the Crusaders traveled to Pine Bush to take on the Bushmen in a Division 1 versus Division 2 crossover game.
The Crusaders entered the game with a 4-2 record, having lost to Kingston 53-49 in their last game. The Bushmen stood at 3-1, having lost to Newburgh 90-44 in their last outing.
The two teams seemed evenly matched as they battled to 11-11 tie at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Bushmen had a small run to pull ahead 33-27 at the half but Samuel Fileen’s five points in the period kept the Crusaders with in striking distance.
In the third quarter the Crusaders cut into the Bushmen’s lead with a strong defensive effort. Cameron Spears also poured in five points to cut the Bushmen’s lead to 46-44.
Finally, in the fourth quarter, with the defense leading the way, the Crusaders slowly took over the game. They began to pull away from an unusual spot, however: the foul line. The Crusaders’ accuracy from the line may have cost them their game when they faced Middletown earlier this year.
This time, however, Jeremiah Arne led the Crusaders’ free throw shooting come back as he hit seven from the stripe in the quarter and nine from the line in the game.
Crusader Bennett Cohen added three more free throws in the quarter and Matthew Omitiran scored six of 14 points in the game as the Crusaders pulled away.
The 66-59 victory over the Pine Bush brings their record to 5-2 on the season.
Next up: The Warwick Valley Wildcats at home in Central Valley.
- William Dimmit