This loss marked the end of the season for the Crusader boys.
The Crusader boys traveled to Mulvane Monday evening for their first play-off game of the season. Things got off a good start for the Crusaders when Austin Soles got the first three-pointer on the board. Mulvane got onto the board a minute later, shooting two points from the free-throw line to make it 3-2. With six minutes remaining in the first quarter, Mulvane took its first lead of the evening. Wellington then took it back with another assist from Soles to make it 5-4 with a little over five minutes remaining in the quarter.
It was a three-pointer from Mulvane that let them retake the lead. Mulvane then built on that lead with another basket to make it 9-5. Soles jumped in again to tighten the score to 9-8 with four minutes remaining. Mulvane was in it for the fight, though, delivering another basket to make it 11-8.
Cade Fairbanks made it from the free throw line twice to make it 11-10 with 3:34 remaining in the first quarter. Tyler Brown made it 12-11 for the Crusaders. Over the next few minutes, Mulvane and Wellington had a tug-of-war with the lead, with each side barely inching ahead of the other. By the time the buzzer rang out at the end of the first quarter, Mulvane scored another three-pointer to make it 19-16.
The second quarter still continued to bode well for Wellington as they retook the lead and tried to build on it, scoring 21-16. Both teams put up three-pointers until Mulvane got to within a point of Wellington at 24-23 with 4:30 remaining in the first half. It was then that Mulvane regained the lead again at 25-24 with 3:36 remaining.
Both teams were now tied with fouls at 4-4 due to all of the heavy contact. Mulvane began to pull away from Wellington as the first half came to an end. The score stood at 31-28.
The Crusaders again started out the start of a new quarter on the right foot, with Tyler Brown scoring a three-pointer to briefly tie it at 31-31. Thanks to a basket from Soles, the Crusaders regained the lead again at 33-31. Again, Mulvane refused to stay down, coming back with a basket to tie it again, 33-33, before sinking an additional three-pointer to make it 36-33. Once again, Mulvane began to pull away from Wellington until they were leading by eight points with 3:45 remaining in the third quarter. Mulvane’s skill with delivering on three-pointers put the hurt on Wellington here, as they lead 47-36. Brayden Higgenbotham delivered two for Wellington to make it 47-38. With the seconds dwindling in the third quarter, Mulvane delivered even more points to close it out, the score at 51-38.
With the game in its final quarter, it was up to Mulvane to just maintain their lead, while Wellington had little time to play catch-up. Mulvane lead by fifteen points, 53-38, with 7:02 remaining. Both teams were tied with fouls, 4-4. Later, Grey Hatfield was able to get points onto the board for Wellington, making it 53-44. De’Andre Washington got into the act with both of his shots delivered from the free-throw line. The score then stood at 57-46 with 4:50 remaining in the game.
Mulvane, however, kept scoring against Wellington. Their lead stood at 63-49 with three minutes remaining. Wellington tried hard in those final minutes, but Mulvane just would not let up. The final score stood at 73-59. It marked the end of the road for the boys this season, and also the end for several seniors who had played their final game as a Crusader.