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Correspondent

GROTON — As the newest member of MidWach B, the Groton-Dunstable boys basketball team has seeked a defining win. The Crusaders took care of that in their league opener, dominating in all aspects of the game in breezing past Westborough 63-49.

“It has been a while in the making, but this is really our first big league win since we made the move up,” said Groton-Dunstable coach Keith Woods. “This is a nice win to get the league schedule started. I thought we struggled at times and had some letdowns, but overall I was happy with the how the team played.”

Trailing by five points two minutes in, the Crusaders got on track with a 15-4 run. Derek McCaffrey had three points and a pair of assists but Ryan Romich was the catalyst. The sophomore forward scored eight points including an acrobatic put back of an offensive rebound that led to a three-point play that made it 17-11.

The Crusaders maintained the momentum in the second quarter, scoring 11 of the first 13 points to expand the lead to 13 at 28-15. McCaffrey downed a trey, Mike Silinonte converted a three-point play before Pat McKinney drained a long three-pointer.

The Rangers stormed back with an 11-1 spurt, keyed by a pair of Kevin Shunney three-pointers which drew the Rangers to within 29-26.

The Crusaders then made a play which changed the flow of the contest. McCaffrey came up with a steal and found Romich alone down the court. Romich took a couple of dribbles before unleashing a thunderous dunk that sparked a 6-1 run to close the quarter and give the Crusaders a 35-27 advantage heading into the locker room.

After both teams treaded water early in the third quarter, the Crusaders put together a 10-4 run to create some breathing room. Ricky Akins led the way with four points before a pair of Silinonte free throws made it 52-40.

The Rangers drew to within eight points twice, the final time when Shunney’s lay-up made it 57-49, but six consecutive points by the Crusaders put the game on ice. Silinonte put the finishing touches on a solid night of work with three points and an assist.

“Ryan had another big night for us and Derek did an outstanding job running the offense,” said Woods. “Cam was great in the post and Mike had a big night. It was a complete effort and everyone contributed and you need that in a league game.”

Romich led the Crusaders with 23 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. McCaffrey finished with 10 points and eight assists. Silinonte (six rebounds) and Akins (five boards) each added nine points while Wilcox chipped in six points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.

Shunney paced the Rangers with 15 points and four rebounds. Peter Orlando (nine boards and three assists) and Matt Van added nine points apiece.

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