HARWICH ─ The Cape Cod Tech boys varsity basketball team gave it their all on Jan. 18 when they played host to the Nantucket Whalers, but proved no match for the visiting squad as they came away with an 86-59 loss.
“They pulled us out of what we wanted to accomplish,” said Tech head coach Brent Warren. “We got pulled into their type of game and we can't run with those guys. They're faster.”
The Crusaders got off to a strong start on successful shots from Paul Hadley and Alex Marchant, with each netting a three-pointer in the frame, but the Whalers were mighty, outscoring their hosts 27-14.
Defensive pressure on the visiting Nantucket team kept the scoring more balanced in the second quarter, with the home team scoring 12 points to Nantucket's 16, this time largely on shots from Cathal Daly, who scored all of his eight points in the frame, including a three-pointer.
Though the Crusaders kept up the fight for the game's remainder, the damage done early on by the Whalers was too much to overcome in spite of continued close scoring between the teams. Much of Nantucket's tally was due to Kalik Liburd, who netted his 1,000th career point and then some in the outing, with play stopping in the second half to allow for a moment of celebration.
Then the home team got back to it, determined to go down fighting. In the end, Javian Stewart was the team's high scorer with 14 points overall, with Hadley following close behind with 11. Marchant added nine, Justin Lukas seven, Juan Camilo five, Zack Higgins three, and Jackson Warren two.
Coach Warren said the team has been impacted by players out with the flu and unable to play.
“Not to make excuses, but we're fighting a flu thing and had a couple key personnel that aren't here today,” he said. “But it is what it is.”
He gave kudos to the entire team for their efforts throughout the game.
“Everybody gave it their all,” he said. “It's not like we didn't go down swinging. Every kid out there gave it everything they had.”
The Crusaders (3-6) were slated to host St. John Paul II at press time on Jan. 23, with their next home game set for today (Jan. 25) against Sturgis East with a 5:30 start time.