WEST ST. PAUL, Minnesota - The St. Croix Lutheran Crusaders boys’ basketball team (14-12, 8-3) won 85-75 against the Kasson-Mantorville KoMets (4-21, 4-11) on a very snowy Senior Night.
St. Croix Lutheran honored six seniors before the game – Norman Strickland Jr, Ezra Blumer, Caleb Rathje, Isaiah Allen, Anthony Whittaker and Quincy Hardel-Davis. Coach Jay Wendland gave his thoughts on the group.
“I can’t thank them enough for the work they put in every day at practice,” said Wendland. “They all contribute so much to the culture of the team.”
The KoMets came out strong and took a lead early in the first half, but Crusader sophomores Xavier Garcia and Zach Longueville and senior Ezra Blumer ignited the Crusaders. Blumer led the team with 28 points, Garcia had 19 points and Longueville added 18.
The KoMets closed the half on a 12-2 run to take the lead 41-35 at halftime and held the lead until the final 2:17 mark when the Crusaders tied 69-69.
The Crusaders never looked back going on a 16-6 run after a series of foul shots and steals. Blumer, Bushaw and Longueville scored 24 of the Crusaders final 26 points.
“When we made our run, we were able to just ramp up the ball pressure a little bit which over time just wore them down,” said Wendland. “We were able to get a couple stops and get a couple steals.”
Watch for more Crusader excitement in the upcoming section tournament.
SCL Sports Writer, Brett LaBore
Special thanks to Brett LaBore for covering Crusader sports this fall and winter. Congratulations to him as he has realized his dream and will start as a high school sports writer in Minocqua, Wisconsin. Once a Crusader, always a Crusader!
Brett LaBore, a 2014 SCL alumnus, graduated from Bethany Lutheran College with a degree in Communication. He was a writer for Bethany’s newspaper, The Scroll, helping him achieve a dream of becoming a sports writer and began writing for SCL in the fall of 2018.