HARWICH – If ever there was a week to defeat the Rams, this was it. Not only did the Patriots win their sixth Super Bowl, in Harwich on Monday night it was the Cape Tech Crusaders who bested the Upper Cape Tech Rams in a thrilling 59-55 victory.
While the Crusaders might not get any rings as a result of the win, they certainly deserve bragging rights after their tireless performance, which included clawing back from deficits several times in the outing.
The Crusaders took an early lead in the non-league game, led by Jack Derosier with an impressive trio of three-pointers in the opening frame, which saw Cape Tech hold a one-point edge after the first quarter.
The teams continued to do battle in the second quarter, with Derosier keeping up his solid shooting, but the determined Rams managed to eke out the extra point in the frame, taking a 30-29 edge into halftime.
Fortunately for the Crusaders, Derosier and teammates Tyjon Barrett and Zach Higgins, with Trever Castillias on defense, weren't going down without a fight, but neither was Upper Cape Tech. While Derosier, Barrett, Higgins, Castillias, and Austin Walker peppered the third quarter with 12 points, the Rams added another 16 to their tally, putting Cape Tech behind 46-41 heading into the final frame.
That's when the Crusaders turned up the heat on the visiting Rams, employing punishing defense while proving solid at the foul line. With 1:28 left in the game, the score was knotted at 55 all thanks to a stellar three-pointer from Derosier. Then Walker was fouled, stepping to the line and sinking one of his free throws as the excitement on the Cape Tech bench mounted.
A turnover put the ball back in Crusader possession, with all eyes on Derosier as he charged toward the hoop, soaring to the basket with a nice layup while also drawing yet another foul. With seconds left on the clock, his first shot fell shy, but his second fell true, leaving the last few seconds up to Cape Tech's defense.
When the final buzzer sounded, the home team erupted in cheers, as did the smattering of fans watching from the bleachers.
In the end, Derosiers scored a whopping 26 points for the Crusaders, including five three-pointers. Barrett came away with 13 points, Higgins and Castillias each six, Walker five, Juan Camilo two and Jermaine Rivera one.
“Our guys played hard,”said Cape Tech's JV coach Kevin Furey, filling in for head coach Brent Warren, who was ill. “We went to a man-to-man defense the whole way just trying to disrupt some of the things they like to do, and the guys really stepped up and performed. We shot the ball well, but our defensive pressure was really great tonight and that was the difference in the game.”
Furey gave kudos to Derosier and Barrett for their efforts.
“Jack shot the ball well from the three, and his leadership and composure down the stretch was huge, and Tyjon Barrett making some clutch shots that we needed to get back in the game,” Furey said.
Furey said the win was a nice boost for the team and gave a shoutout to Upper Cape Tech for their strength.
“It was a big win,” he said. “Obviously we always like to beat our rivals, but at the end of the day we have much respect for them. It's always a good momentum builder to finish out the season as best we can.”
At press time the Crusaders were set to head to Nantucket to face the Whalers, with their next home game set for tonight (Feb. 7) at 5:30 against Martha's Vineyard. The team will be at home for the remainder of the season, with games against Old Colony (Feb. 8), St. John Paul II (Feb. 14), and Monomoy (Feb. 18).