The NBL4 Men returned to action after nearly a month, losing to league leaders BC Medelynas 99-66 on Saturday.
A huge 61-31 second half would prove decisive as Medelynas held Kent to 9 points in the third before exploding for 39 points in the fourth.
“It was a funny game,” said Crusaders head coach Jesse Savant. “With both teams missing key players, I was really proud of how were approached it. The third quarter killed us as we went away from what worked in the first half. And then there isn’t much you can do when they hit 9 3s in the final quarter.”
The game started off sluggishly with both teams missing multiple starters. Crusaders were first to find some rhythm with a series of inside scores by Ollie Dykes. Medelynas replied with four 3s in quick succession as the teams finished the quarter level at 20.
Dykes continued to cause problems in the second quarter on his way to 12 first half points. However Guzys started to lead the charge, hitting 3 3s in the quarter on his way to 16 first half points. Just as Medelynas started to pull away, James Harris hit a late 3 to cut the lead to 38-35 at the half.
Crusaders lack of rhythm really showed in the third though, sloppy offence and turnovers led to easy scores by Medelynas. Raupys racked up 9 third quarter points, as Medelynas pulled out to a 60-44 lead.
Any chances of a comeback were extinguished, when the visitors found their groove, knocking down 9 3s by 5 different players in the final quarter.
The league leaders finished with 6 players in double figures led by Gruzys (24) and Raupys (17). Crusaders were led by Dykes with 17, followed by Elliot Bailey with 14 and Harris with 12.
Crusaders fall to 6-4 and will travel to Anglia Ruskin next week, while Medelynas remain undefeated at 11-0.