Basketball’s Surprising Season Start

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Boys won the christmas tournament, and turn to new games

Cameron Peters, Staff Writer

Led by a talented group of players, the boys’ basketball team has started the season with a 6-4 record and a top 15 nod in Class 4 play.

Starting off with a loss against Westminster in the first tournament is never how you envision beginning the season. However, the Crusaders took it with a grain of salt and moved on to take home a consolation championship with momentum going into season play.

Their next big task this season was the Christmas tournament at St. Dominic. Led by great play on both sides of the ball every game, the team took home their first Christmas tournament championship since 1998.

“With something that hasn’t happened at this school in 22 years, for our community, our boys, our alumni, it was really neat for us,” Coach Kevin Roberts said.

Sophomore Ryan Schwendemen and juniors Anthony Lewis and Brendan Deters lead the charge this season in points, averaging 13.3, 11.4 and 12.9 points per game respectively. Senior Kyle Crawford has been lights out from beyond the arc, shooting 63% from three-point. Offense doesn’t show the full story though, as defense has also been stellar. The team has let up more than 60 points three times and lock up against every team they face.

The good defense, along with solid offensive play, has propelled them to a two seed placement in the Washington tournament. Their first opponent is the St. Louis Blue Knights on January 13. They look to keep their positive mindset throughout this tournament, as they will face some good teams.

“It’s a good field… the team we just lost to, Borgia, is the four seed in it, so you can tell that it is a pretty good tournament,” Coach Roberts said.

However, the tournament is the final thing on their mind. With the new year comes a challenge they have prepared for all season: district play. The team looks to top last year’s performance, in which they lost in the semifinals to a great McCluer North team.

“Our conferences are so tough with Ritter, Tolton, Borgia and Saint Mary’s so [these tournaments] just prepare us because we’re gonna see those type of teams later on down the road,” Coach Roberts said.

While the team’s record may not show the full story, they have played some spectacular basketball this season. After dropping their last game to Borgia, they bounced back with a 61-51 victory against Cape Girardeau Central. Cape Central was the fifth ranked team in the state before they played the Crusaders Thursday night at home.

“It was an amazing feeling to beat them, as they are a very good team. We showed that we can play with anyone and that we are not done yet and have to work even harder!” junior Anthony Lewis said. 

That work starts next week as the team will play in the Washington Tournament where hopefully they will get a rematch chance against Borgia.