B4 -- Slow start dooms fourth-grade Lady Crusaders
The fourth-grade girls got off to a slow start against Tyngsborough and never recovered losing, 22-12. Rebecca Brennan (six points) led all scorers and was a key contributor to cutting the deficit in the second half. Cassidy Lacombe (two points) and Lili Evans (two points) rounded out the scoring for Groton-Dunstable. Although shots were not falling for the Lady Crusaders, key rebounds by Taylor Caldwell and Elizabeth Crandall and timely steals by Rebecca Brennan, Bella Hutchins and Susanna Majkut helped keep them in the game.
G5 -- Spirited G5 Play Not Enough to Overcome A-B
The fifth-grade girls began the game against last year's league champions in impressive defensive fashion. Led by the tenacious defensive play of Caroline Straw, Groton-Dunstable held A-B to two points in the first quarter.
Groton-Dunstable's shots were not falling, despite several attempts by Amanda LaCombe. A-B led 8-2 at the half. The game remained close in the second half. Groton-Dunstable made a spirited attempt at closing the gap in the final two minutes. Allie Vogel (team-high six points) converted a handful of key last-minute rebounds into easy put-back points, but in the end it wasn't enough as Acton-Boxborough toppled Groton-Dunstable, 19-12. Kyleigh McDonald and Amanda LaCombe led the team with four rebounds each.
B5 -- First Loss for Fifth-Grade Boys
The fifth-grade boys suffered their first loss of the season falling to defending league champion, Acton-Boxboro, 36-31. After trailing by 11 points at the half, Groton-Dunstable battled back and cut the Colonials lead to three points with 14 seconds left. Brandon Wiercinski, 13 points, hit some huge three-pointers in the last final three minutes. Matt Lamarre had seven rebounds against some oversized opponents. Hunter Poulin played great defense against a tough point guard, who kept him scoreless in the second half. The Crusaders travel to Wachusett on Sunday.
G6 -- Sixth-grade Girls Wage Victorious Battle Against Wachusett
The sixth-grade girls faced off against seventh-grade Wachusett this past weekend in a battle of two undefeated teams. Early on, it was apparent that both teams would struggle on the offensive end due to the other team's strong defensive presence. G-D was able to get a few baskets in transition and went into half-time down, 15-14.
The second half, again, saw both teams struggle offensively. Despite getting out rebounded and a cold day at the free throw line, the sixth-grade Lady Crusaders were able to grind out a hard fought 27-24 victory.
Jillian Van Pelt and Nicole Tammaro paced the team with eight points. Emma Wilson and Rachel Erickson played key roles in breaking the press and added key assists. Bronwyn Mulligan and Abby Eisenklam played very strong interior defense against the very tall and athletic Wachusett team.
The girls improve to 3-0 in league play and 6-0 overall. The Lady Crusaders will face Quabbin thisweekend.B6 -- Waltham Earns Win Against Sixth-grade Boys
The sixth-grade boys lost a close, physical game against a strong Waltham team, 45-32 on Sunday and dropped to 2-1 on the season. Joe O'Malley (10 points) and Tim Stark (nine points) led the Crusaders offense while the defense struggled to stop Waltham.
G7 -- Seventh-grade Girls Beat Nashoba
The seventh-grade girls, playing in the eighth grade, division-two had a home game Sunday against Nashoba. Nashoba is the only team that has beaten the Lady Crusaders in the past three years. Sunday's game was another nail-biter, but G-D emerged victorious. Maggie Wickham's stellar full-court press led to six steals. Hannah Wynn lead the team in scoring with seven points. Jenna Joseph, new to the team this year, showed that she is getting comfortable and played some effective minutes. G-D pulled off another hard-fought win against Nashoba, 32-31.
B7 -- Crusaders snatch one from Acton-Boxborough
The seventh-grade boys netted a big win over Acton-Boxborough, 56-46. Groton-Dunstable entered the half down 26-25, but it came out strong in the second half and outscored A-B, 31-20. Evan Cook was a jack-of-all-trades. Cook led the team with 17 points, six assists and three steals. Finn Lynch connected for a double-double, finishing with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Brian Scott had a great game on the boards, tallying eight rebounds and adding five points. Jacob Gavel also collected eight boards and had four points. Connor Keegan played with confidence, grabbing six rebounds and hitting a big shot in the first half to spark a 7-0 run by the Crusaders.
Sharp-shooter Jeremy Keast added eight points, including two three-pointers. Joe Bushnell and Jareb LeClerc (three steals) disrupted Acton-Boxborough's offensive flow. Josh Fiorentino and Will Manzi added four and five rebounds.
B7, Div. 2 -- Seventh-grade Boys Steal Game from Naragansett
Guts and gumption earned the Div. 2 seventh-grade boys, a one-point win over Naragansett Sunday. Down by 15, Groton-Dunstable allowed the opponent only 11 points in the second half. Tenacious, fearless rebounding and drives to the basket led to a 41-40 Crusaders' victory. Peter White's clutch shot with six seconds left gave the Crusaders their first lead of the game.
G8 -- G8 Victorious Over Littleton
The eighth-grade girls held a commanding win over the visiting Littleton Tigers entering the half leading, 29-10. The Lady Crusaders slowed the pace of the game in the second half, and went on to win, 45 -21.
Ellie Eisenklam (three assists, four steals) lead the team in the first half with nine points, shooting 100 percent from the floor and behind the three-point line in the first 15 minutes of play. Abby Hoey had a great all-around game, finishing with five points, six rebounds and three assists.
Chloe McDonald played her best game of the season, collecting six boards, dishing out three assists and connecting for five points. Erin Scanlon (five rebounds) had some highlight-film drives, finishing with seven points.
Jordan Wynn (three assists, three steals) was a force on the glass, grabbing 14 rebounds in addition to contributing nine points. Leah Garside (two points, six rebounds), Erin Keough (three points), Madison Tammaro (four steals) and Sarah Mullins (five points) all added strong defensive performances.
B8 -- Eighth-grade Boys Fall to Hudson
In what was a back and forth game with two evenly matched teams, the visiting Hudson Hawks finished the game on a 16-3 run to take a 43-31 victory from the eight-grade boys. Hudson attempted 28 free throws in the game, and hitting them down the stretch to extend its lead in the final minutes. Garrett Solomon was a force on the offensive end for Groton-Dunstable with 14 points. The Crusaders had their best rebounding game of the year with 36 boards, including 17 from Rip Carr to go along with 10 points.