By Sarah Eisenklam
Fourth grade boys trounce Gardner 37-8
The fourth-grade boys traveled to Gardner and won impressively, 37-8. They improve to 5-3 in the CMYBL. Jack Barry led all scorers with eight points. Alex Bushnell drained two from behind the arc. Riley Curran pulled down 10 boards and Brandon Wiercinski had eight. Next week the team travels to Ashburnham to face Oakmont.
Eisenklam leads the Lady Crusaders to victory
The fifth-grade girls faced off against Quabbin for the second time this season. Much like the first game, it was a battle of G-D's speed and athleticism against Quabbin's size and strength. The first half was a defensive battle, as neither team could muster much offense. The Lady Crusaders battled hard and held their ground and went into the half with a 5-4 lead.
The grade 5s started the second half by generating offense from the full court press, creating several fast break opportunities to open up a five-point lead midway through the second half. Defensively, Bronwyn Mulligan and Carolyn Mullins did a fantastic job against their much taller opponents. Maggie Jiser and Lauren Hill played tremendous perimeter defense, not allowing Quabbin many chances at an interior passing lane. Emma Wilson, Rachel Erickson and Nicole Tammaro played very effective at the guard spot, while Jillian Van Pelt provided valuable minutes at the point.
Special recognition goes out to Abby Eisenklam, who led the team with five points and 13 rebounds. She played tremendous defense and refused to be out battled for key rebounds. Overall, she helped set the tone for the defense. In the end, the G5s prevailed, 24-15, using a strong second-half push to close out the game.
Fifth-grade Crusaders remain unbeaten
The fifth-grade boys remain unbeaten this week by posting a 32-17 win against a game Acton-Boxboro team. The Crusaders were able to extend a four-point halftime lead by forcing several turnovers and making seven of 11 free-throws in the second half. The team was led by Joe O'Malley's 12 points and 11 rebounds. Tim Stark and Jack Foster chipped in with six and five points, respectively. The Crusaders will face a tough Wachusett team next week in a late-season battle of the unbeatens.
Grade 6 lady Crusaders squeak win out late over Wachusett
The sixth-grade girls had yet another barn burner against arch rivals Wachusett. To start the game, Wachusett came out on fire and went up to a quick 8-0 lead. After a time out called by G-D, Julianna Higgins settled down the offense and they started on the come back trail. With 1.8 seconds left in the half, Wachusett was up 12-7. The last play of the half, Hannah Wynn in-bounded the ball to Lydia Pray, who swung it to an open Rachel Romich, who landed a three-pointer. The score was 12-10 at half with Wachusett up. The second half was a back-and-forth battle until Hannah Wynn found Erin Jussaume for two consecutive jumpers. At the end of regulation the score was 20-20. In the three-minute overtime, G-D bared down on defense. G-D only allowed Wachusett five points in the overtime. Maggie Wickham scored two key layups and Romich iced the game making key free-throws. Grade 6 clinched a tight one, 28-25.
Sixth grade Crusaders' balanced offense downs Littleton
The sixth-grade boys defeated Littleton 43-31. It was a very balanced offensive attack led by Jacob Gavel with nine points followed by Evan Cook with eight points, Jeremy Keast with eight points and Joe Bushnell with five points. Joshua Fiorentino and Brain Scott were strong on the boards.
Seventh-grade Crusaders compete, but come up short against Acton-Box.
In a very competitive B7 match-up, Acton-Boxborough prevailed over G-D this week 53-40. After being down 29-20 at half, G-Ds seventh-grade boys cut the lead to three at the start of the second half behind a number of key defensive plays by Patrick Ryan. G-D, as usual, had a very balanced scoring attack. Joey Femia and Rip Carr each posted double digits, leading the attack with 12 and 10 points respectively. Garrett Solomon also played a strong game and contributed six points.
Grade 7 Lady Crusaders come up short
The Groton-Dunstable seventh-graders lost a heartbreaker on the road to Mahar's eighth-grade girls. Mahar took an early lead, but G-D closed the gap and entered the half down 20-19. The second half saw several lead changes, but at the buzzer, Mahar took the win, 39-34. Gillian Lindquist led the G-D offensive attack with 12 points. Madison Tammaro (seven points), Ellie Eisenklam and Chloe McDonald (five points) all contributed three-point buckets, while Leah Garside played tough in the paint and chipped in four points.