Adam Catlin
Wellington Daily News
As the Crusaders boys varsity headed onto the court to play their final game of the evening against the Augusta Orioles, they knew they had their work cut out for them.  The Orioles had already won every game except one against the Crusaders, when the junior varsity girls managed a twenty-two point victory.  Sadly, it was not to be for the Crusaders boys varsity team as they tried hard, but still came up short, losing 41-33 against the Orioles.  
The Crusaders got off to a great start when De’Andre Washington got the first points on the board, making it 2-0.  The Orioles swiftly countered that, making it a tied game.  Over the next few minutes, Wellington fought hard, but Augusta began to pull ahead, at 5-4, with 3:48 left in the first quarter.  The Crusaders put up a struggle, but were incurring fouls at a score of 3-1 against the Orioles.  
Jaren Jackson scored two for the Orioles, increasing the lead over the Crusaders of 7-4.  Another point by the Orioles made it an 8-4 game.  With 1:30 left in the quarter, A J Snipes scored for the Crusaders, sending the score to 8-6.  The fouls were continuing to be a hindrance for the Crusaders as they lead 6-2 over the Orioles.  
Although the Orioles scored with another two-pointer, Jack Walton countered with a three-pointer for the Crusaders, leaving the score at the end of the first quarter at 10-9.  The Orioles held a narrow lead of just one point.  
Coming back onto the court, Chance Whitehead scored a three-pointer for the Orioles, increasing their lead over the Crusaders 13-9.  His teammate Clay Wesbrooks assisted with a three-pointer of his own, sending the score to 16-9 with 6:33 left in the first half.  
Ian King came into play for the Crusaders with two points, helping the score to narrow to 16-11.  After a brief time out, playing resumed with Wesbrooks again scoring for the Orioles, making it 18-11.  The Crusaders tried to fight back with Snipes contributing from the free-throw line, briefly making it 18-14.  
Blake Altenhofen jumped into action for the Orioles, making it 20-14.  With 1:35 remaining in the half, Snipes fired off more for the Crusaders, but the Orioles just would not give up their lead.  As the clock ran out, the score was 22-16.  
The energy inside the gym was terrific as Logan Jones was crowned the 2018-2019 Duke, and the crowd was cheering as the Crusaders returned from the half to fight back hard against the Orioles’ onslaught.  
Within seconds, the Orioles scored again, leading 24-16.  Zac Burton sank both of his from the free-throw line for the Orioles, making it 26-16.  It was now officially a ten-point ball game.  
A two-pointer from Ian King for the Crusaders briefly made it 26-18, but the Orioles refused to let up, once again scoring and making it a ten-point game at 28-18 with 6:00 remaining.  
Several baskets from Jake Swink helped increase the lead of 32-18 for the Orioles.  Time out was called with 3:26 remaining in the quarter.  
Snipes assisted the Crusaders to make it a six-point game at the very last second, ending the third quarter at 32-26.  
With the end in sight, 6’8 Jonny Clausing scored a dramatic basket, jumping up and grabbing the rim and yanking it hard, making it powerfully reverberate.  With the clock running out, the writing was clearly on the wall for the Crusaders.  Still, they were going to make the Orioles work hard for that win.  After another two-points from the Orioles, the score now stood at 36-26.  
With 5:41 left in the game, Ian King scored again from the free-throw line for the Crusaders, making it 36-28.  Both sides continued to fight hard for points until time out was called with 2:16 remaining.  The fouls were piling up for both sides with the Crusaders barely leading at 7-6.  In the end, the Crusaders just could not seal the deal against the Orioles, coming up with a final score of 41-33.  
Wellington is now 3-6 and will play Clearwater on Thursday at 8 p.m. in the 2018 Chaparral Roadrunner Classic.
VARSITY BOYS vs Augusta
AHS 41 WHS 33 (3-6) (2-3)33
Wellington:  AJ Snipes 15, Ian King 13, Jack Walton 3, DeAndre Washington 2.
Augusta: Whitehead 3, Altenhofen 2, Jackson 5, Burgen 2, Wesbrooks 6, Swink5, Brown 2, Clausing 17.  Total 13 (2) 9-18 41.