Playing under high pressure situations and facing tough challenges is nothing new for the St. Mary’s Crusaders this season. Last night they played their first of 4 games in the next 5 days, facing a visiting Rogue River Chieftain team who may not look successful on paper but are full of grit, fight and effort. The Crusaders were once again up for the challenge.
The game began slowly with both teams struggling to make a shot. The scoreless contest finally ended almost two minutes into the game when Heemir Patel opened the scoring for St. Mary’s with a strong move in the paint. It took another two minutes before anyone scored again, once more with Patel driving to the bucket. This effort seemed to loosen up the rest of the home team as their offense got on track and scored fifteen unanswered points to close out the quarter, capped by a buzzer beater three from Sophomore Kent David. St. Mary’s ended the quarter up 17-0.
Rogue River finally saw a spark off the bench with two quick mid range jumpers from Jeffrey Simpson to begin the second quarter. After that, the Crusaders locked down on defense, constantly forcing their opponents to drive to their weak hands and making easy looks at the basket quite difficult. They spread the scoring around on the offensive end with seniors Kayden Walker and Noah Friesen leading the way. The first half ended with the Crusaders up 33-8.
The Crusaders come out the second half switching from a man defense to a zone and continued to make the Chieftains attempt tough shots and the Crusaders continued to own the glass. Kent David continued his hot shooting off the bench with 8 points in the third as his team pushed their lead to 54-18 to enter the final quarter.
In the fourth, St. Marys continued to spread the ball around and were able to use all their players, with David again pacing the team in scoring. Even as they slowed the pace somewhat, St. Mary’s looked very solid on both ends of the court and ended the game with a 60-23 victory. Their next game is tomorrow against a surging team from Brookings.
Crusader Scoring Summary:
Noah Friesen- 16
Kent David- 16
Kayden Walker- 13
Heemir Patel- 10
TJ Flowers- 2
Christopher Kranenburg- 2
Amit Lad- 1