G4 -- Lady Crusaders unable to convert in transition
The fourth-grade girls lost a close contest to Littleton, 17-14. The Lady Crusaders were ahead throughout the first half, then the lead went back and forth for the remainder of the game. Taylor Caldwell had a breakout game and led Groton-Dunstable with eight points. Clare Joyce pitched in four points. Both Cassidy Lacombe (two points) and Rebecca Brennan (two points) had strong performances on the boards, adding five rebounds each. The game was tied with just over two minutes to play, but the Crusaders were unable to convert a couple of fast break opportunities in the final minute.
G5 -- Lady Crusaders keep on rolling
The fifth-grade girls are picking up mid-season momentum after their strong win over third-ranked Nashoba Green. Amanda Lacombe struck early, attacking the basket and scoring the first two points of the game. Solid defense notably by Caroline Straw (two points) on the perimeter and Brenna O'Malley in the post, kept the Crusaders ahead for the rest of the game. O'Malley dominated the boards with nine rebounds.
Groton-Dunstable executed its backdoor cuts particularly well getting many quality looks at the basket. Emily Hutchins found Amanda Lacombe on open cuts to the basket on several occasions, leading to several good shots and two points for Hutchins.
G5 led, 8-4, at the half. Towards the end of the second half G-D opened up a 17-9 lead, but Nashoba clawed back with four unanswered points in the final three minutes to close the gap, 17-13. G-D tightened its defense and held on for a 17-13 victory. Kyleigh McDonald led all scorers with six points, many off which were converted off steals.
B5 -- Crusaders cruise past Lunenburg
The fifth-grade boys beat Lunenburg ,46-33, to improve their record to 5-2.
The boys aggressive help-defense led to many points in transition. Hunter Poulin, Riley Curran and Jack Barry owned the paint with eight rebounds each. Matt Lemarre also grabbed some key rebounds. Brandon Weircinski, high scorer with nine points, and Kyle Plausse did a wonderful job controlling the tempo of the game, while contributing key points and assists. Alex Bushnell added seven points and Ryan Bernard had six. Matt Fordham and Jon Eisenklam each added four assists. The team hosts league rival, Acton-Boxboro, this week at home.
G6 -- Sixth-grade ladies remain unbeaten
The sixth-grade girls squared off against Littleton's G7 team this past weekend. The G6's jumped out to an early, 11-2, lead and never looked back. They used an aggressive pressure-defense to create several turnovers. The girls were able to maintain their pressure defense and went into the half with a 17-7 lead.
G-D mixed a few things up in the second half offensively, displaying some great passing and generating open shots.
In the end, G-D pulled away and won, 33-15. Rachel Erickson led a very balanced scoring attack with seven points and four assists. Bronwyn Mulligan had a strong game with six points and six rebounds. Carolyn Mullins also turned in a valuable performance with four points and three steals. In all, nine players cracked the scoring column, again showing their balance and depth as they improved to 6-0 in league play and 9-0 overall.
B6 -- Crusaders fall in physical battle with Gardner
The sixth-grade boys basketball team lost a close, physical game against a strong Gardner team 43-37 on Sunday and moved to 3-4 on the season. Tyler Peck led the Crusader scorers with 10 points, while Joe O'Malley contributed with nine points. Tim Stark and Jack Foster added six each, while Charlie Willis (four points), and Sammy Eggimann (two points) each contributed to the Crusader offense.
B7 -- Wachusett delivers crushing blow to Groton-Dunstable
The seventh-grade boys team took a crushing blow from long-time rival, Wachusett, losing, 54-33. G-D changed defenses multiple times to try and contain Wachusett's big man inside, but it was to no avail. The Wachusett center netted 24 points to put the game out of reach for the Crusaders. Connor Keegan and Will Manzi both played tough on the defensive end. Jared Leclerc (five points) played well on both ends, hitting a big three-pointer in the closing minutes, hoping to ignite an offensive run for G-D. Evan Cook finished with nine points and Jake Gavel contributed seven. Jeremy Keast added five points and Finn Lynch had four.
B7, Div. II -- Crusaders pull away from Nashoba
The seventh-grade boys, Division II, improved to 5-2 on the season with a 41-31 win against visiting Nashoba. G-D's lean roster of seven players not only did not tire, but it ramped things up throughout the course of the game. Tied 13-13 at the half, G-D shifted into overdrive and outscored their opponent by 10 in the final half. Unselfish play was the defining factor in the win, resulting in even scoring by the Crusaders. Peter White's hustle and discipline on defense set the tone for his teammates.
G8 -- Lady Crusaders edge Lunenburg
The eight-grade girls defeated second place Lunenburg, 32-31. The Crusaders led the entire contest, taking an early seven-point lead and entering the half with a 22-17 advantage. G-D held Lunenburg to only seven points for the first 12 minutes of the second half, but with three minutes to play, some defensive lapses resulted in a 7-0 Lunenburg run.
G-D held its composure in the closing minutes to seal the one-point victory. Leah Garside (five rebounds) led the team with eight points. Jordan Wynn (four rebounds, three assists, three steals) and Chloe McDonald (three assists, two steals) each contributed seven. Erin Scanlon had some key baskets in the second half and finished with six points. Madison Tammaro (two points, two assists) paced the team defensively, leading the team with six steals.
B8 -- Depleted Crusaders line-up falls to Gardner
The eighth-grade boys fell to Gardner this week. Gardner started the game very strong on its home court, taking an early lead and then extending by half-time to a 30-12 deficit for the Crusaders. The Crusaders, which had only seven players available due to sickness and injuries, fought back in the second closing the lead to 10 at one point, yet ultimately lost, 48-36.
Neil Swain led the Crusaders on both end of the court, playing an incredibly strong game. Neil had six steals in the first half alone, and then scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half.
Joey Femia played a particularly good second half and also tallied 13 points. Christopher Watt was a key contributor as well, playing strong defense and providing some nice offense late in the game. Next up is a rematch with Littleton, who is undefeated. The Crusaders lost on a buzzer beater in the first contest between the two teams.