Adam Catlin
Wellington Daily News
The Crusaders Junior Varsity girls met one of their most formidable opponents last Friday night, facing off against the Lady Orioles.  Playing at home on Homecoming night, the Crusaders Junior Varsity girls fought hard against the Orioles, ultimately getting the Crusaders’ only win of the night, beating the Orioles by a twenty-two point margin of 53-31.
Starting out, the Crusaders knew they had their work cut out for them.  They were finally able to take their first lead of the game of 7-6 with 4:48 remaining in the quarter.  The Orioles swiftly countered with a basket of their own, retaking the lead with 8-7.  Both sides were tied at that point on fouls, 1-1.  
Delaney Parkey retook the lead for the Crusaders, making it 9-8 with 3:22 left.
With Hollee Slusser matching it for the Orioles with 10-9 with 2:41 left, it was becoming clear this was going to be anyone’s game to win.  
Natalie Henning sank it from the free throw line with 2:27 left, tying the score at 10-10, but the Orioles refused to sit back and let the Crusaders have all of the fun, retaking the lead again with 12-10.  As the first quarter came to an end, the Crusaders managed one last shot of their own, tying again with the Orioles for 12-12.  
Both teams were proving to be evenly matched with neither side able to pull away from the other.
Entering the second quarter, both sides were tied on fouls 2-2.  Maycee Anderson made her shot from the free-throw line with 7:10 left in the half, briefly giving the Orioles a slim lead of 13-12.
It did not take long for the Orioles to start pulling away from the Crusaders, scoring 15-12 with with only 5:32 left in the first half.  
McKenna Jones, however, managed her shot from the free throw, tightening the score back to 15-14, but the Orioles still were able to pull away with a score of 17-14.  Another three-pointer by the Orioles gave them their biggest lead yet of 20-14 with 4:38 left in the first half.  Time out was quickly called.  
Coming back onto the court, Natalie Henning scored a two-pointer for the Crusaders.  By the time, the dust was settling at the end of the boisterous first half, the Crusaders were leading in fouls 4-3.  The Orioles were still leading 22-18.  
Coming back from the half, it was clear that whatever win the Crusaders were going to get, the Orioles were going to make it challenging for them, every step of the way.  
Delaney Parkey came back with one of her three-pointers, narrowing the lead for the Orioles to 22-21.  By this time, the Orioles were also beginning to pull ahead in fouls, 2-1.  Proving relentless, the Crusaders nailed down another three-pointer, finally retaking the lead of 24-22 with 4:40 left in the third quarter.  Yet another three-pointer for the Crusaders increased their lead of 27-22 with 3:50 left.  
Draven Warnock jumped in with a three-pointer of her own for the Crusaders, making it a seven-point game 29-22 with 1:51 left in the quarter.  
By the end of the quarter, thanks to a last moment play by the Orioles, the score stood at 29-24.
Headed into the final stretch of the last quarter, it was clear the Crusaders were on fire.  Alexus Clift wasted no time getting into the three-pointer action, increasing the Crusaders’ lead 32-24 with 6:48 left in the game, but the Orioles shot back with two of their own, making it a six-point game of 32-26.  
McKenna Jones stepped back up the free-throw line and sank both of her shots, with the game now at 34-26.  
Myriland French scored a three-pointer, sending the Crusaders’ score to 37-26 over the Orioles with 4:31 left.  Kylie Aufdengarten quickly scored with two of her own, making it 39-26.  With less than four minutes left in the game, the Orioles were leading in fouls 5-3.  Time out was again called.  
Returning to the court, Aufdengarten stepped back in for the Crusaders, scoring both her shots from the free throw line, making it a fifteen-point game at 41-26.  Yet another three-pointer from Alexus Clift for the Crusaders made it a seventeen-point game at 43-26 with 2:45 left in the game.  
Hallie Johnson managed her shot from the free-throw line with 2:34 left in the game, making the score 43-27.  
With the clock beginning to run out, Draven Warnock nailed down another three-pointer for the Crusaders.  Maycee Anderson scored for the Orioles with the scoe at 48-28, making it a twenty-point game.  
Hollie Slusser scored the final points for the Orioles in the game, her three-pointer making it 48-31 with a minute left.  The Crusaders played hard to the very end, making it a hard-fought twenty-two point spread at 53-31.
It was a come from behind win for the Crusaders and would, unfortunately, mark their only win for the night against the Orioles.  The Junior Varsity Crusader girls next travel to Winfield Tuesday evening to play against the Lady Vikings.  
Myriland French 12, McKenna Jones 11, Draven Warnock 10, Natalie Henning 7, Kylie Aufdengarten 4, Lexi Clift 4, Mykiland French 3, Delaney Parkey 2