The Crusaders completed a near sweep of the Clearwater Indians last Friday evening. Playing on the Indians’ turf, the Crusaders performed aggressively against their opponent.
The Crusaders girls varsity scored almost immediately into the game, with Myriland French scoring two points. What then followed were several failed attempts on both sides to get a shot in. Olivia Helmers finally got one in for the Indians, bringing the score to 2-1. Both sides then engaged in plenty of rough and tumble action for control of the ball. The Indians were playing hard, not wanting to relinquish control to the Crusaders. With 4:20 left in the first quarter, the Indians briefly took the lead at 3-2, only to have the Crusaders snatch it back, altering the score at 4-3. Mykiland French built on that lead for the Crusaders, with her shot bringing the score to 6-3. Time out was called soon after.
The fouls were racking up for both teams at the beginning, with the Indians running ahead of the Crusaders 3-2 at the end of the first quarter.
By the end of the quarter, the Crusaders were ahead of the Indians with a score of 9-3.
Headed into the second stretch, both teams were tied on fouls owing to their scuffling and getting down on the floor for control of the ball. McKenna Jones helped increase the lead for the Crusaders to 11-3. Not to be deterred, Audrey Gordon was able to sink one in from the free throw line, bringing the score to 11-4 with 5:08 remaining in the first half.
Delaney Parkey was able to bring in a three-pointer for the Crusaders, increasing their lead 14-4. She then had help from Kylie Aufdengarten, shooting from the free-throw line, and Mykiland French, with another three-pointer, bringing the Crusaders’ lead 18-4 with 3:38 left in the half.
The Crusaders were running into trouble with their fouls, coming out ahead of the Indians 6-5.
Christine Cleary and Bella Willis were both able to score some shots for the Indians, but the Crusaders still maintained their lead at the end of the half 20-6.
The Crusaders came into the second half with Myriland French wasting no time in scoring two three-pointers within seconds of each other, increasing their lead 26-6. Kylie Aufdengarten came in with a two-pointer of her own, building the lead over the Indians of 28-6.
Audrey Gordon fought back with a two-pointer of her own for the Indians, showing the score now at 28-8 with 6:11 left in the third quarter. Clearwater was able to quickly score more baskets, narrowing the lead to a promising 28-12. The Crusaders were still running ahead on fouls at a troubling score of 4-1 over the Indians.
With 2:56 left in the third quarter, Alexus Clift, for the Crusaders, managed to score one of the more dramatic baskets of the evening, coming down from making her shot in a perfectly executed head over heels roll.
With 1:59 remaining in the quarter, there was plenty of back and forth with the ball changing hands and teams so fast it was almost like watching a screwball comedy where the game was keep-away rather than basketball. There was an almost perceived ruthlessness with which the teams were playing.
Alexus Clift came in to play again for the Crusaders, with her free-throw shots increasing the lead 37-14 at the end of the third quarter.
Headed into the final stretch, both sides were tied for fouls at four each. Draven Warmock was able to score for the Crusaders on her second attempt from the free-throw line, bringing the score 40-14.
At this time, the Indians still were not letting up on the Crusaders. Despite the score, the Indians were determined to make the Crusaders work hard for whatever win they were fighting for. Kylie Aufdengarten scored with back to back lay-ups for the Crusaders, with the score at 44-14.
Bringing in the final points for the Indians, Christine Cleary scored a lay-up, but it was not enough against the onslaught of the Crusaders. Despite running a troubling lead of 8-5 on fouls, the Crusaders managed to handily beat the Indians 49-18.
Wellington 56 Clearwater 18
Wellington 45 Clearwater 37
Clearwater JV 48 Wellington 45
Wellington C 63 Clearwater 52.