G4 -- Shooting woes plague fourth-grade Lady Crusaders
The fourth-grade girls had difficulty scoring against Oakmont, losing 22-11 on Sunday. The Crusaders started off slowly and fell behind early due to turnovers. Rebecca Brennan (seven points) led the scoring effort for G-D. Taylor Caldwell (two points), Jackie Gervais (one point) and Clare Joyce (one point) rounded out the point total.
G5 -- Groton-Dunstable unable to overcome Acton-Boxborough
The fifth-grade girls lost a tough game against Acton-Boxborough to end their 2014 winning streak. The Lady Crusaders played a great game highlighted by fierce defense. Sierra Wynn, Kyleigh McDonald, Ali Vogel and Maddie Dondero stymied A-B's big offensive threats significantly limiting their scoring, particularly their dribble penetration. The first half was particularly close. It was 5-5 towards the end of the half, but Acton-Boxborough struck twice to take a 9-5 lead.
A-B opened up their lead in the second half, but the game remained close until the end when several G-D turnovers led to fast break A-B points. G-D fought back with a three-point basket by McDonald and points from Vogel. Brenna O'Malley also chipped in three points and many rebounds. The game ended with A-B winning, 25-14.
B5 -- Fifth-grade boys are victorious in Waltham
The fifth-grade boys traveled to Waltham and won, 37-34. Despite a 22 point second-half effort from Waltham's star player, G-D led by one point with less than a minute left. Waltham had two chances to take the lead, but it was forced to take long range jumpers.
G-D kept its composure in the final minutes inbounding the ball several times and scoring under high pressure. Ryan Bernard and Brandon Wiercinski led scoring with eight points each. Hunter Poulin added six points. The team improves to 6-3 on the season heading into its bye week. They face Oakmont the following week for the regular season finale.
G6 --Sixth-grade Lady Crusaders fend off Quabbin
The sixth-grade girls faced off against the G7 Quabbin squad. The girls opened up strong, using good pressure defense and strong takes to the bucket to open up an early lead. By half-time, G-D's hard-nosed effort resulted in a 20-6 lead.
As expected, Quabbin refused to back down, it opened the second half with a 9-0 scoring run. G-D looked out of sorts trying to penetrate Quabbin's 3-2 zone. Eventually, the G6's began to find their rhythm and pulled away with a comfortable lead. In the end, G-D found its focus and won, 34-24.
Carolyn Mullins scored a bucket and played her best defensive game of the season, applying consistent pressure and creating several steals. Lauren Hill had a big bucket and played strong perimeter defense to shift the momentum back to G-D in the second half. Nicole Tammaro led the team in scoring with 12, followed by Jillian Van Pelt with eight points. The girls face Oakmont this weekend.
B6 -- Crusaders drop fast-paced game to Nashoba
The sixth-grade boys lost a fast-paced physical game against a strong Nashoba team, 44-34, Sunday. Tyler Peck led the Crusader scorers with nine points, while Steve Dzwonek and Joe O'Malley added eight of their own. With the loss, the Crusaders drop to 4-5 on the season.
G7 --Lady Crusaders earn second win over Lunenburg
The seventh-grade girls played and defeated Lunenburg for the second time this year. Jacqueline Forbes played a great game rebounding and scoring, with 12 points. Maggie Wickham, even though fouling out early in the second half, still contributed 10 points. Lydia Pray went six for six from the free throw line and added eight points. Once again, G7 played as a team and all added key plays to help get their eighth straight win this season. G-D defeated Lunenburg 52-35.
B7 -- Seventh-graders come up big against Hudson
The seventh-grade boys had a big win over Hudson, 56-51, moving them into fourth place in the highly competitive Div I bracket. G-D played 30 minutes of high-intensity basketball, diving for loose balls, boxing out and distributing the ball to the open player. It was a full team effort with all players making major contributions throughout the game. All active players scored, with Josh Fiorentino, Connor Keegan and Brian Scott adding two points each. Fiorentino and Scott kept the big men off the glass, denying Hudson any second chance opportunities. Keegan's defense was outstanding, as he was consistently assigned to defend Hudson's fastest player. Jeremy Keast (two steals, three rebounds) played important defensive minutes down the stretch and added five points and connected on four assists. Jared Leclerc had a great game, playing pressure defense and forcing Hudson to make bad passes.
LeClerc finished with six points and two steals. Joe Bushnell, who showed great offensive composure in the closing minute, took it hard to the basket and didn't miss a shot all night, finishing with seven points. Finn Lynch and Jacob Gavel played physical in the paint, limiting Hudson's scoring inside. Lynch finished with seven points and six boards and Gavel added six points and two rebounds. Evan Cook did it all. He led all scorers with 19 points, including going seven for eight in the final minute from the free throw line. Cook grabbed six rebounds and led the team with four steals and four assists.
B7, Div. II -- Crusaders power past Oakmont
The seventh-grade boys, Div. II, topped visiting Oakmont by a final score of 41-15, to improve to 6-3 on the season. After falling behind 3-0 in the opening minutes, G-D turned things around as its fast-break offense began to click and its defense limited Oakmont to only 12 additional points. Peter White led G-D scorers with 10 points, while Nate Townsend battled for several clutch rebounds and set the tone for the Crusaders' strong defensive team effort.
G8 -- Lady Crusaders coast past Acton- Boxborough
The eight-grade girls improved their record to 7-2 after defeating Acton-Boxborough, 34-18. G-D shared the ball well and had some beautiful transition baskets. The Crusaders defense held the visiting team to 10 points in the first half and eight points in the second. It was a balanced win, with eight-of-nine players registering in the scoring column. Leah Garside (four rebounds) led all scorers with 10 points. Erin Scanlon ran the floor well and finished the game with six points. Jordan Wynn had five first half points, and led the team in rebounds (14) and steals (four). Abby Hoey (three rebounds, two assists) had three points and Ellie Eisenklam (three rebounds, two assists), Maddie Tammaro (two steals) and Erin Keough (three rebounds) added a bucket each. Chloe McDonald (four points) and Sarah Mullins each contributed four rebounds and two assists.
B8 -- Hawks heat-up from outside to down Groton-Dunstable
In a very well played and competitive match-up from start to finish, the Hudson Hawks prevailed against the eighth-grade boys, 58-54, in Hudson. After Hudson took an early 8-5 lead, the Crusaders went on a 16-1 run to take a 21-9 lead with 6:30 left in the half. Hudson then heated up from outside, including a running three-point shot at the buzzer to close the lead at half-time to just two points, 29-27.
The three-point shot was Hudson's primary weapon, it hit a total of eight in the game. Only Jack Smethurst (seven points) was able to knock the one down for Groton-Dunstable. The Crusaders were able to overcome this disadvantage by dominating the boards on both ends and then took advantage of scoring opportunities in transition. Hudson simply could not contain the rebounding efforts of Joey Femia and Rip Carr, both of them were relentless all day. With their rebounding translating to scoring opportunities, Femia and Carr led the Crusaders with 18 and 13 points, respectively.
If G-D closes the year with two wins, it can lock up a playoff spot.