NEWPORT â€“ In the second game of the double-header, the UCA and Craftsbury boys faced off against each other on Saturday. For the fans that stuck around to see the second game they were treated to a great contest. The Crusaders entered the game still in search of their first win on the season and Craftsbury entered the contest fresh off beating Chelsea Thursday night. After a stellar first half, the Chargers pulled away with a convincing victory 69-45.
The game started off slow and it wasnâ€™t until a pair of Adam Allen free throws with 5 minutes left in the quarter that we got out first points of the contest. Logan Masse would sink a 2 of his own to make it 4-0 before Jon DelaBruere would knock down a 3 from 3 feet behind the line. Chris DelaBruere would make it 6-4 with a 3 of his own and then the shooting clinic would begin. Jon would knock down 2 more 3â€™s, to keep himself perfect from beyond the arch, but with every shot Craftsbury would respond. After 1, the Chargers were on top 13-12.
It was more of the same in the 2nd quarter of action. After Masse would extend the lead to 15-12, Jon DelaBruere would knock down his 4th 3 pointer of the contest, to tie the game at 15. Allen and Andrew Marckres would each take their turn at scoring and the Chargers once again found themselves on top by a score of 19-15. But Jon DelaBruere would strike again, connecting on his 5th 3 of the half to pull his team back within 1 with 4 minutes left in the half.
Craftsbury would then go on a 9-0 run, to push the lead to double-digits, finished off by a Spiese turn-around lay-up in the paint, and with 90 seconds before halftime, the score was 28-18. With 10 seconds left on the clock UCAâ€™s Ji Kim would knock down both ends of a 1-and-1 to send the game to intermission with a score of 34-24.
The Crusaders were absolutely lights out from behind the arch in the first halfâ€™ going 6-7 from long distance, led by Jon DelaBruere being 5-5. But the hot shooting would run out in the second half, and the Crusaders would find themselves struggling to score points.
Paul Samaan would however start off the half hot for UCA, hitting a 3 of his own to cut the score to 34-27, but the bigger Chargers would wear down the thin bench of the Crusaders. The big bodies of Marckres and Jason Martin were too much to handle and with 4 minutes left in the 3rd, the score had stretched to 44-32. After a pair of baskets from Anthony Putvain and Allen, Martin would sink a leaner inside to push the lead to 20. Craftsbury would hold UCA scoreless for the last 5 minutes of the quarter, outscoring them 23-8 in the third,sending the game into the 4th with the Chargers in total command.
It was much of the same in the final eight minutes with Martin and Marckres dominating inside the paint and Frank Spiese playing big minutes and scoring big points off the bench for Coach Terry Kelleher.
In the end UCA would not be able to close the gap and they found themselves on the wrong end of a lopsided 69-45 game.
Coach Kelleher, after the contest said that he â€śWanted the boys to come out in the second half and play solid â€śDâ€ť without giving up so many 3â€™s. 42 [Jon DelaBruere] was lights out in the first and we could not continue to let him get wide open shots.â€ť
He would later add, â€śThat in the first we were not able to work the ball down low, but once we started feeding Martin inside, we blew the game open.â€ť
UCAâ€™s Coach Tony DelaBruere was pleased with the way his boys played throughout the first half, but attributed the dismal 2nd half to, â€śthe lack of depth on the bench.â€ť He also added that, â€śthe other team didnâ€™t do anything differently in the 2nd half; we just got frustrated when the shots started not to fall.â€ť
Jon DelaBruere led the way for the Crusaderâ€™s with 17, while Paul Samaan quietly scored 15, and Chris DelaBruere added 8.
Andrew Marckres was the game-high and Craftsbury leading scorer with 21 and Kyle Adams and Frank Spiese each reached double digits with 15 and 10 respectively.
The Chargers, who now stand at (2-0) will look to stay perfect when they travel to Stowe, to face off against the Raiders on Wednesday, the 21st. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00.
The loss drops the Crusaders to 0-3 on the year and they will look for that elusive first win of the season tomorrow night when they travel to Canaan to face off against the Eagles. Tip-off is set for 7:00.
Earlier in the week the United Christian Academy Boys traveled to Richford to face off against the Falcons, and they walked away with a tough 65-21 defeat.
After trailing 35-9 at the end of the first and losing starting Point Guard Paul Saaman for the game with what appears to be a sprained thumb, the Crusaders â€śbegan to come around and play more physical,â€ť according to Coach Tony DelaBruere.
Chris DelaBruere led UCA with 13 points, while his brother Jon would chip in with 5. Mitchell Roy would also add 3 points for the Crusaders.