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Crusaders show their stuff – times two

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The Holy Cross girls team (left) were the champs for the fifth year in a row, trampling St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints 56-22. The Holy Cross teams were able to celebrate their victories in front of a raucous hometown crowd Jan. 15 in Surrey. Photo by Brent MattsonHoly Cross gets double title at B.C. Catholic basketball provincials
By Brent Mattson
The B.C. Catholic

SURREY--The students of Holy Cross Secondary School had double the reason to celebrate Jan. 15 when both their boys and girls teams came out on top at the 2011 B.C. Catholic Basketball Championships.

Cheered on by a raucous hometown crowd, the Holy Cross Crusaders girls’ team rallied to crush the St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints 56-22 to clinch their fifth tournament championship in as many years.

“Well you never get tired of winning but ... the girls really had to work hard the entire time and STA battled us all the way through,” Holy Cross coach Steve Beauchamp said. “The girls had to earn everything they got, so we’re really proud of the girls.”

The Fighting Saints, who came into the second half battling a 30-9 deficit, managed to double

their points to 18 by the end of the third quarter. However, that effort wasn’t enough to hold off the onslaught from the Crusaders, who marched to victory with a 34-point lead.

Beauchamp said that the B.C. Catholic championship is one step in the direction of what he and the team hope is a stellar year.

“They’ve been working hard all year. It’s a nice stepping-stone,” he said. “They’ve got bigger goals, but the Catholics is always a special tournament for them.”

“The team really wants to focus on their league play and make sure that we finish first in our zone.”

The Holy Cross boys’ team had more of a challenge facing off against the St. Thomas More Knights, with both sides battling throughout the game, rarely ever giving the other an inch.

Both teams started the game strong, but the Knights took an early lead late in the first quarter, ending the quarter with a 10-point lead, 21-11, and raking up three fouls to the Crusaders’ one.

In the second quarter, the Crusaders rallied and ended the half with a one-point lead at 30-29.

Both teams stormed into the second half, with neither side giving the other an inch. The third and fourth quarters were truly back and forth, and neither team was able to build a lead against the other.

“I was really proud of how the kids came out in the second half and played their guts out,” Crusaders coach Matthew LeChassseur said. “It could have gone any way; they’re both great teams.”

It wasn’t until overtime that Holy Cross managed to pull ahead and end the game 53-46, the most decisive lead in the second half of the game.

It wasn’t apparent until the last moments of the game who would come out victorious, and the intensity of the game wasn’t lost on the fans or LeChausseur.

“It was an awesome final, one of the best ever,” he said.

LeChasseur was excited by his team’s first victory in the tournament since 1997, but he is already looking forward to the rematch.

“STM played a great game; they’re a fantastic basketball team,” he said. “We’re going to meet again in Kamloops at the provincials. I guarantee it.”

Last Updated on Friday, 25 November 2011 14:53  
 
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