By Sarah Eisenklam
HOLIDAY BREAK GAMES - Dec. 23
Undefeated and it feels so good
The fifth-grade boys team remain undefeated, with a convincing 45-26 win over Maynard. Jack Foster led all scorers with 14 points, while Joe O'Malley filled up the stat sheet with 11 points, four assists, five rebounds and seven steals. Sammy Eggimann also had a strong game, with six points and seven rebounds.
Grade seven boys can't overcome sluggish second half
The seventh-grade Crusaders, behind good team defense, led the game against Littleton at halftime, 15-13. The tide turned in the second half, as the Tigers came out strong, clamping down on the defensive end and heating up offensively. The Tigers held G-D to seven points in the second half, securing a 36-22 victory. Drew Stone, Rip Carr and Graham Chilcoat led the team offensively. Jack Smethurst and Wiley Ordeman played very strongly on the defensive end.
JAN. 6 GAMES
Grade four Lady Crusaders fall from the ranks of the unbeaten
The G-D fourth-grade girls suffered their first loss of the season in a thrilling game with Acton-Boxboro. The teams were closely matched -- both undefeated going into the game. It was 5-5 at halftime in a tight defensive battle. In the end, A-B edged G-D 12-11, but G-D had their chances. They led by one with roughly a minute to go. Kyleigh McDonald (four steals) led all scorers with six points, all in the second half, and helped G-D come back from a four-point deficit late in the second half to take a one-point lead. Katie Eberhardt and Amanda Lacombe also added points for the Crusaders. Brenna O'Malley was strong on the boards, grabbing a team-leading nine rebounds.
Fourth-grade Crusaders can't stop Acton-Boxboro
The fourth-grade boys drop to 3-2, with a 27-14 loss to the league powerhouse Acton-Boxboro. The team played well in the first half, as they trailed by only two points at the break. They continued to defend well in the second half, but managed to add four points offensively. Brandon Wiercinski and Riley Curran rebounded well with eight and six boards, respectively. The Crusaders will try to clinch a playoff berth next week when they host Lunenburg.
Fifth-grade Lady Crusaders battle valiantly, only to come up short
The fifth-grade girls jumped up to Grade Six Division IA and faced off with Lunenburg this past weekend. Both teams came in undefeated at 4-0. The Lady Crusaders battled hard, but ended up on short end of a 33-20 score. The girls came out a little tight. Their shots weren't falling, but they still battled back to within four points at the half. The girls opened the second half strong and brought the game within two points against a very athletic Lunenburg squad. Lunenburg rattled off 10 unanswered points by using a stifling press that the G5's had difficulty in solving. The Lady Crusaders showcased a competitive drive, and never gave up. Abby Eisenklam played a very good all-around game with five points and eight rebounds. Defensively, Bronwyn Mulligan battled a host of taller opponents and pulled down six rebounds.
Fifth-grade boys' remain spotless
The fifth-grade boys stayed on the winning track, moving to 6-0 on the season with a 38-16 win against Acton-Boxboro. The Crusaders used a balanced scoring attack and a tenacious half-court defense to pull away in the second half. Sammy Eggimann, Tim Stark and Joe O'Malley all contributed eight points, while Tyler Peck chipped in with six points, including an impressive three-point play to put the game out of reach. The team will travel to Leominster next and look to continue their impressive win streak.
Mountaineers eek out close win over sixth-grade Crusaders
The sixth-grade boys lost a close matchup with Wachusett 32-30. Evan Cook led the team offensively with 14 points. The G-D team played hard throughout a very tough game.
Lindquist's sensational game sparks grade 7 Lady Crusaders
The seventh-grade girls defeated Fitchburg's eighth-grade team, 39-31. The Crusaders found themselves down at the half, but played great defense down the stretch to seal the victory. Gillian Lindquist had an outstanding game, leading all scorers with 21 points. Leah Garside assisted Lindquist on many points in the closing minutes and she finished the night with 10 points. Sarah Mullins was exceptional in the second half, hauling down defensive boards and leading the team on fast-breaks. Jordan Wynn finished the game with three points, and Ellie Eisenklam and Maddie Tamarro each added a bucket.
Fitchburg pulls away from seventh-grade Crusaders late in second half
After a slow start, the seventh-grade boys got to within a point of Fitchburg, 18-17, late in the first half. Joey Femia sparked the early comeback with a number of steals and finished with eight of the team's 17 points in the half. In the second half, Fitchburg's defensive pressure got to G-D as the visiting Red Raiders went on an 18-2 run. While G-D was able to chip away at the lead, in the end Fitchburg closed with a 47-26 victory. Femia finished as G-D's top scorer with 12 points. Along with Femia, Neil Swain played a strong all-around game for the Crusaders.
Grade eight Lady Crusaders stomp past Nashoba, 50-20
The Lady Crusaders had a strong return following the holiday, defeating Nashoba by a score of 50-20. Leading by seven at the half, G-D dominated Nashoba in the second half with stifling defense and an offensive explosion. Hanna Van Pelt led the charge with 18 points. Brielle LeClerc and Mallory Cain each contributed seven points in the winning effort.