Submitted by Sarah Eisenklam
Fourth grade Lady Crusaders top Lunenburg 14-6
The fourth-grade travel team demonstrated sound fundamentals, and opened their season with a 14-6 victory against a well-coached Lunenberg team. G-D started out running, taking advantage of a nice tip by Riley Tennant and scoring in the first three seconds of the game. They settled into a well-executed, half-court offense and never looked back, leading the rest of the game. Offensively, the girls were well balanced, with five of nine players scoring. Kyleigh McDonald and Katie Eberhardt led all scorers with four points each. Also contributing key points were Emily Hutchins, Amanda Lacombe and Riley Tennant. Scores were helped along by picks by Madison Dondero and Allie Vogel. The team looked strong on the boards, with Eberhardt and McDonald leading all rebounders and Brenna O'Malley and Caroline Straw grabbing vital boards. Defensively, G-D (Eberhardt - seven steals, McDonald - five steals) put the brakes on a talented Lunenberg front court, holding their team to only a single basket in the first half.
Alex Bushwell sunk the game winner in overtime of the fourth grade Crusaders' 25-23 win over Littleton.
In their travel league debut, the G-D boys fourth graders pulled out an exciting overtime win against Littleton (25-23). Brandon Wiercinski (eight points, seven rebounds) tied the game in regular time and Alex Bushnell (six points) hit the game winner in OT from just inside the arc. Kyle Plausse played well at the point adding four points. Jack Barry frustrated Littleton defensively contributing to the win.
Groton-Dunstable Lady Crusaders fifth-grade travel team:
The grade five Lady Crusaders (playing in G6 Div II) had an impressive win on the road against Wachusett, pulling out a 48-15 victory. The girls started off a little slow in their first game, but they relied on their stellar defense to create some easy baskets in transition. Rachel Erickson had a fantastic game as she led the team in scoring with 14 points. Overall, the team had a very balanced attack as eight players scored. The girls were also an impressive 4 for 6 from the free-throw line.
Defensively, the girls used an aggressive man-to-man defense to limit Wachusett's scoring opportunities. Cate Bolton made her G5 travel team debut and had eight rebounds and multiple steals in the win. The girls' next stop will be the Natick Thanksgiving Tournament where they will play three games in preparation for the remainder of league play.
Crusaders' fifth-graders blow past Hudson 44-20
The G-D fifth-grade boys started out their season on the right foot defeating Hudson 44-20. The Crusaders used a hot start to take control of the game going up 16-4 in the early stages of the game. Tim Stark paced the B5s with 12 points and four rebounds. Joe O'Malley chipped in 10 points, and three assists while Jack Foster added eight points, and three steals.
Sixth-grade Crusaders cruise past Littleton 35-16
The G-D sixth-grade boys started off their 2012-2013 season with a 35-16 win over Littleton. G-D was very strong defensively holding Littleton to just eight points in each half. The Crusaders scoring was led by Evan Cook with nine points and Jeremy Keast who contributed eight in the win. Joshua Fiorentino, Jacob Gavel and Jared LeClerc each added four points.
Seventh-grade Crusaders win an overtime thriller
In the season opener for both teams, G-D seventh-grade boys won a thriller over Concord-Carlisle 35-34. Rip Carr finished a tough shot in the lane with nine seconds left in the game to give the Crusaders the victory. Joey Femia assisted on the play, drawing the defense to his drive, and then dished the ball off to Carr. G-D played excellent defense in the first half and held Concord-Carlisle to 13 points, but found themselves down five points late in the game. Patrick Ryan had a strong all-around game, hit a key long jumper as part of the late comeback. Carr led the team in scoring with 10 points. Femia was a force on the defensive end and also contributed nine points. Next up, the Crusaders seventh-graders will be participating in the Natick Thanksgiving Tournament.
Defending champion Wachusett proves too much for Groton-Dunstable seventh-grade girls
The seventh-grade girls' team dropped their first game, 45-29, to the defending Div I eighth-grade champions, Wachusett. The team got behind early and found themselves trailing 25-9 at the half. G-D played tenaciously against Wachusett even in the second half, but that wasn't enough to recover from the half-time differential. Abby Hoey had an outstanding game, leading the team in rebounding, while running plays perfectly, giving her teammates an opportunity to score. Gillian Lindquist had the hot hand, scoring all 12 of her points in the second half. Ellie Eisenklam ran the point, dishing out assists and finishing with seven points. Leah Garside contributed five points on the night and Jordan Wynn hit a three pointer under tight pressure in the closing minutes. Chloe McDonald was active on the boards and was confident with the ball the entire game. Maddie Tammarro added two points, while Erin Keough, Avery Dichter and Sarah Mullins had some big defensive stops against a talented Wachusett team.
Eighth-grade girls' down Lunenburg 36-26
The eighth-grade girls opened their season against a tough Lunenburg squad last Sunday.
The game was close throughout, with G-D trailing by two at the half. It was a four-point game up until the final two minutes with Lunenburg making key free throws down the stretch to seal a 36-26 win. Hanna Van Pelt and Lyle Prockop each scored seven points and Mallory Cain contributed six points for the Lady Crusaders.