If this is what we can expect from this year’s Little 4 in boys basketball, you better fasten your seat belts.
On Friday night the Crusaders battled back from a double-digit deficit to edge out an impressive Hoopa team at St. Bernard’s, winning 62-58 in a thrilling showdown between two great rivals.
Perhaps most surprising was how well a Hoopa team that has struggled this season performed, taking the game to their rivals and almost pulling out what would have been an outstanding win.
Regardless, if the Warriors continue to play like this they’ll contend for a league title.
“Hoopa took it to us the entire game, but the boys never gave up, showed a ton of heart and came out on top,” St. Bernard’s head coach Steve Thrap said. “Hoopa played an excellent game and I think both coaches would agree it was a great game to be involved in, but nobody wants to lose.”
Facing a 10-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter, the Crusaders had the better of the late exchanges to deny the visitors.
Lane Thrap led the home team in scoring with 22 points, while Will Omey finished with 10 points and Owen Shanahan and Hunter Davis eight each.
The head coach, however, stressed afterwards that this was a total team win.
“Everybody on our team contributed one way or another, making big steals and big plays down the stretch,” he said. “Our heart is what got us over the top.”
Davis came up huge in the final minute with a key basket and a steal to help sneak the win.
Lane Thrap drove to the basket for the go-ahead score with just 20 seconds remaining to break a 58-58 tie.
With the win, the Crusaders are now 1-0 in the Little 4 and 7-5 overall, while the Warriors drop to 0-1 and 2-12.
No individual scoring stats were available for the Warriors.