After opening their league campaign with a surprise loss at Hoopa, the St. Bernard’s Crusaders knew they would likely have to win out to claim the Little 4 championship in boys basketball.
They are now just one victory away from doing that.
On Tuesday night, they not only got some payback for that earlier loss by beating Hoopa 76-59, but by doing so they moved back into a tie with South Fork for top spot in the league standings.
The Crusaders and Cubs are both 4-1 in the Little 4 and will face off in the league finale in Miranda on Friday night in what will be a true championship game.
Aidan Dorsch continued his recent outstanding play with another big performance, scoring a game-high 18 points in the win.
Known by his teammates as “AD,” the standout forward has been on fire recently, and was one of nine seniors on the team honored before the game.
“Dorsch played well again,” head coach Issac Gildea said. “He’s been playing really good basketball for us.”
The ever-consistent Drew Vizenor also had a good night and finished with 14 points, while Aaiden Burris scored 11 and Seth Dyer 10.
The Crusaders took control of the game with a 20-0 run in the third quarter.
Lane Campbell scored a game-high 22 points for the Warriors, who are in the midst of a busy week and were playing their second game in two nights.
Ben Hunsucker also continued his impressive season with nine points.
With the loss, the Warriors dropped to 1-3 in the Little 4 and 2-11 overall.
Demetrius Rawson added seven points for St. Bernard’s, which improved to 16-7 overall, while Peyton Smith chipped in six points and Owen Shanahan five.
Appropriately for senior night, St.Bernard’s senior exchange student Samuel Matysek, who had never played basketball competitively before this year, hit a buzzer beater to close out the game.
“It was really a team win,” said Gildea, who added that “it was senior night, but we hope to be playing a lot more games coming up at the St. Bernard’s gymnasium.”