HARWICH – The Cape Tech Crusaders struck first, but it was the Monomoy boys who cruised to a commanding 63-42 victory on Jan. 17, keeping them undefeated in the Cape and Islands League.
A pair of three-pointers from Jack Derosier and Tyjon Barrett led the Crusaders to an early lead in the first of two matches between the teams this season, but the lead was short-lived as the Sharks awoke ready to do battle.
Leading the charge for the Sharks were Isaiah Stafford and varsity newcomer Aidan Melton, who each added 14 points to the Monomoy tally, which saw its scoring get started with a successful free throw from Stafford, a two-point shot from Chris Hall, and a nice three-pointer from Bradley Alexis.
The first quarter saw both teams play evenly matched basketball, with the Sharks taking a one-point 13-12 lead after the opening frame, with Cape Tech's Trever Castillias adding a successful two-point shot of his own to benefit the Crusaders.
The tide began turning sharply in the second quarter, however, with Monomoy pulling ahead mightily, netting 22 points to Cape Tech's eight, largely thanks to the efforts of Stafford and junior captain Jamie Routhier, who gave the Sharks a solid 35-20 lead at halftime.
The game's second half allowed Monomoy's bench to shine in a demonstration of the team's depth, with Melton setting fans cheering with a pair of high flying shots and one effortless free throw, adding five points to the 13 scored by the Sharks in the third.
Meanwhile, Joe Small landed a nice three-pointer in the third quarter for Cape Tech, with Juan Camilo adding three points and Zach Higgins, Desrosier and Castillias getting two apiece in the frame, making it clear that in spite of trailing by nearly 20 points the Crusaders weren't giving up easily.
The fourth quarter saw Monomoy senior Christian Blakely add seven points to the Shark tally, while Eli Stafford added two, at one point diving for a loose ball with gusto. Cheers erupted in the MRHS gym when Riley Varner sunk a three-pointer near the game's end.
Derosier added one more three-pointer to his total in the final frame, with Jermaine Rivera adding one of his own to the delight of Cape Tech fans, but the win belonged to the home team Sharks as they remained undefeated in league play with the victory.
Assistant coach Dan Taylor was pleased with his team's efforts throughout the game, particularly his bench.
“I thought Christian Blakely was outstanding in his first game back in a while,” he said. “Isaiah (Stafford) played great despite having flu symptoms, and sophomores Aidan Melton and Bradley Alexis were huge, giving us energy off the bench. This was total team effort, as the starters were pulled and the bench actually continued to grow the lead.”
Taylor also gave a nod to Cape Tech's Castillias.
“He played great on both sides of the ball,” he said.
Overall, along with Stafford and Melton's 14 points each, Routhier had nine, Blakely seven, Jason Ready and Chris Hall four each, Bradley Alexis and Riley Varner three apiece and Elijah Beasley and Eli Stafford two each. David Malone was key on defense, as were Beasley, Ready and Hall.
On the Cape Tech side, Derosier led with 11 points, with Castillias adding eight, Barrett and Zach Higgins each with six, Camilo with five and Joe Small and Jermaine Rivera each with three.
On Jan. 18 the Crusaders triumphed over Rising Tide 45-27, with Derosier again leading the team with 13 points, while Small adding six and Austin Walker five. The team fell to Old Colony Jan. 21 with a score of 92-50, with Derosier contributing 19 points and Barret 15.
Meanwhile, the Sharks defeated Plymouth South on Jan. 21, with Chris Hall scoring 10 points to lead Monomoy along with Jason Ready's nine, Isaiah Stafford's eight and Routhier's seven.
Next up for the Crusaders is a trip to Osterville to face Cape Cod Academy this evening (Jan. 24) at 5:30 p.m., with their next home game set for Jan. 29 against Sturgis West, also at 5:30. The Sharks host the D-Y Dolphins at home on Jan. 29 with a 7 p.m. start.