The Vanier Crusaders senior boys basketball team has two Grade 10 players in key roles and has lost one of its star players to injury.
But the team is doing fine despite all this.
The Crusaders took a 65-45 win over the Porter Creek Rams during Super Hoops action at Vanier Catholic Secondary on Friday.
Friday’s win came after the team’s first Super Hoops loss of the season, losing 78-70 to the F.H. Collins Warriors on Thursday.
“Tonight was a nice recovery,” said Crusaders head coach Sean McCarron. “We had a decent first half, but the second half was a lot more disciplined, started to shoot the ball better, played pretty good defence, a few of my bench guys stepped up. I’m pretty happy with that game.”
If Grade 10s are good enough to play at the senior level, so be it, said McCarron.
“They’re still learning how to take charge and I want these guys to,” he said.
The Crusaders’ top scorer on Friday was Grade 10 Chris Carino with 20 points, four rebounds and two steals.
The Crusaders (4-1) went five minutes without a basket in the second quarter when Grade 10 Josh Tobias, the team’s starting point guard, had to sit out.
“We got in some foul trouble and my point guard, Josh Tobias, banged his knee and had to sit for a lot of that quarter,” said McCarron. “And my backup point (guard) wasn’t here tonight.”
Vanier got back on track in the second quarter when Noah Kitchen scored on a lay-up, drawing the foul and sinking the free-throw to make it 21-16.
“Then our team’s energy just dropped,” said Rams’ J.J. Paul.
“We need to work on our team-building skills, start talking a little more, start cheering more,” he added.
Kitchen was second in scoring for the Crusaders with 17 points and five rebounds. Louie Aguinaldo and Elliot Berg both had nine points, the latter also securing 11 rebounds.
Scott Peterson led the way for the Rams (0-4) with 16 points, six steals and 19 rebounds, and Breyin Wiens had 12 points, eight steals and five rebounds.
“Breyin Wiens – he’s a good player,” said Paul. “He’s good at dribbling. He can shoot.”
The Crusaders lost starter Jon Koltun for the rest of the season to a concussion.
“Losing the only starter from last year’s championship team is a big loss,” said McCarron.
Crusader girls go on the run
A pair of scoring sprees placed the Crusaders’ senior girls team in the winning circle in Super Hoops Friday.
Vanier maintained a winning Super Hoops record with a 56-37 win over the Porter Creek Rams, a night after taking an 11-point win over the F.H. Collins Warriors.
The game could have been a close one if not for two sizable runs by the Crusaders. Vanier jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the game. They then had an 11-point run in the second period, capped by a free-throw by Colleen Prenoslo to make it 28-6.
“I’m proud of the girls,” said Prenoslo. “They are putting lots of effort into it and I think we’re really getting better. So I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Ending Vanier’s second-quarter run was Rams’ Daria Jordan, putting in a rebound. Jordan hit back-to-back baskets to start the third quarter and drained a jumper at the final buzzer.
“I think the second half was a lot better than the first,” said Rams head coach Kaeli Ritchie. “We pulled it together and started moving the ball on offence to get to the basket a little more. We were able to get some fouls, which helped us out.
“We need to play some more games, get some confidence, work on the basics and move forward from there,” she added.
The Rams are currently winless in Super Hoops. The team had just two subs on the bench to the Crusaders’ six on Friday.
“We could have used less fouls,” said Crusaders head coach Ed Frison of the second half. “I would have preferred my girls to play a little bit cleaner. But overall they were fighting hard, were doing what I asked them to do.”
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