GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Catholic Central boys basketball team ended its’ 2021-’22 season on a bitter note, losing to Ichabod Crane in the sectional championship game. But the Crusaders retooled, moved from the four-seed to the-one seed this year, and will now have their shot at redemption.
Guy Di Bacco’s bunch is moving on to the Sec. II, Class B title game following a 59-45 semi-final victory over fourth-seeded Fonda-Fultonville Tuesday night at Cool Insuring Arena.
Catholic Central’s Darien Moore played an integral part in the Crusaders’ win. The freshman phenom recorded a double-double, scoring a game-high 23 points, and pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds.
Catholic Central maintained a 12-10 lead after the first quarter, and Moore fueled a 9-2 run to open up the second frame that forced a Fonda-Fultonville timeout with 5:42 to play in the quarter.
The Braves countered, though, with a run of their own out of the stoppage. With under a minute remaining before halftime, freshman Riley Wilson scored a lay-up on a fast-break to trim the deficit to two points. Fonda trailed 24-22 heading into the locker room.
But the Crusaders responded out of the break with its’ best defensive quarter, holding Fonda to just six points in the third stanza.
The play of the night, and perhaps the top play of sectionals thus far, came at the end of the quarter. Catholic had grown its’ lead back out to six points at 34-28. With time winding down, Fonda’s Jackson Cusack missed a shot that was rebounded by Crusaders freshman forward Qwameik Smith. Smith turned, took one dribble, and launched a shot from just beyond Fonda’s three-point arc a split second before the buzzer sounded, and drilled the near-65-footer to extend his team’s edge to nine points.
Catholic Central carried that momentum into the fourth quarter, and pulled away for the 59-45 victory.
The Crusaders will await the winner of the semifinal matchup in the bottom half of the Class B bracket between No. 2 Tamarac and No. 3 Glens Falls. That game tips off Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. from Cool Insuring Arena, which will also be the site of the championship game Saturday; that gets underway at 12:45 p.m.