The U16s drew Cambridge Cats who finished second in the East Conference league for the first round of the playoffs.
The first period saw Crusaders dominant, Segun Shodunke scored the first basket of the game after the tip, which led straight into the pressure defence from the home side. It was clear the Cats were uneasy verus the pressure which only spurred on the Crusaders. After an early timeout from the visitors they switched to zone which was a mistake as Mate Okros and Will Raife drilled three long range shots between them to extend the lead, the quarter finished 25-10.
The second period saw Josh Barcelona and Johnathan Tetteh step up from the bench and both may positive impacts to the game, managing to help extend the lead and get stops. Mate Okros keep his hot hand nailing shots from beyond the arch. Louie Adams who was suffering from illness didn’t let that stop him connecting from down town helping Crusaders led at the half 49-26.
The second half saw both teams keep competing but Cambridge had no answers and couldn’t find a away back into the game. U14 Sam Alajiki showed why he’s playing an age group above when he scored 6 straight points. Praise Osagie, Isreal Shofela, Jack Norman, Joe Clerkosn and Ayden Proctor finished the game in style with an 8-0 showing the depth the team has. The final score 92-61, meaning it sets up an away tie in the next round against Haringey Hawks this weekend, Day and Time to be confirmed.
Coach Davies commented on his teams victory “Before the game we didn’t speak about tactical or technical we just spoke about three things that we could control energy, being vocal and relentless on every possession. And in the first half we delivered, it was the best half of basketball we have had this season. It was an amazing atmosphere created by the supporters and a real big effort from all players.”