Varsity MenThe Varsity Men's basketball team traveled to Fayetteville on Tuesday, January 27 where they grabbed their 7th conference victory of the season with an easy 66-43 win over Fayetteville Academy. The two teams edged back and forth in the early stages of the game which led to an 18-15 lead for the Crusaders at the end of the first quarter. HCA began to implement pull court pressure which allowed the Crusaders to go on an 11-0 scoring run. The Eagles called a timeout with 3:54 left in the second quarter but they could only score two more points before the half. After the Crusaders' 20-2 run throughout the entirety of the second quarter HCA headed into the half with a 38-17 lead. Quate Mckinzie and Spencer Cooke both scored 10 points for the Crusaders in the first half which allowed the Crusaders to extend their lead in the second quarter.
The Crusaders continued to roll in the second half and led 57-31 at the end of the third quarter. HCA extended their lead to 30 points in the early stages of the fourth quarter but the Eagles fought back late in the game which led to a 66-43 victory for the Crusaders. Quate Mckinzie led the Crusaders in scoring with 20 points. Spencer Cooke contributed 10 points along with Marcus Scarborough with 8 points. HCA's 23 point victory improved the Crusaders to 13-3 (7-0) on the year. The Varsity Men will be back in action on Friday, January 30 in the Annual Pink Out Game at home against Fayetteville Christian School. If the Crusaders can come out with a victory they will claim the conference regular season title. The Crusaders defeated the Warriors 72-52 earlier in the season.
Varsity WomenThe Varsity Women found themselves in a back and forth affair throughout the entire game. The two teams struggled to find the basket in the first quarter and found themselves in a 5-5 deadlock at the end of the first quarter. The two teams began to crank it up at the offensive end in the second quarter. After 8 points by Emily Benton and 7 points by Margaret Clark the Crusaders headed into the half with a 15-12 lead.
The Crusaders maintained their three point lead throughout the third quarter and headed into the fourth with a 24-21 advantage. The Lady Crusaders made another bucket to extend their lead to 26-21 with 4:42 left to play in regulation. The Eagles edged back into the game and cut the HCA lead to 26 -25 which led to a timeout by the Crusaders with 1:53 left in the fourth quarter. The Eagles then made a free throw to tie the game at 26. Neither team could convert in the final seconds of the fourth quarter forcing overtime.
In overtime the Eagles hit a three pointer to extend their lead to 29-26 with 1:29 left to play. The Lady Crusaders came down on the next possession and scored a quick bucket to cut the Eagle lead to 29-28. HCA then came up with a steal which led to a foul that sent Natalie Hardin to the free throw line. Hardin made one of two free throws to tie the game at 29 with 37 seconds left in overtime. The Eagles could not get a shot off in the final seconds overtime which led to the game's second overtime.
Heading into double overtime the Eagles made an early basket to extend their lead to 31-29. The Eagles then sank two free throws to extend their lead to 4 points, 33-29. Mikaela Stroud was then fouled for the Crusaders which sent her to the line for two shots. Stroud made both free throws to cut the Eagle lead to 33-31 with 15 seconds left to play. On the next Eagle possession, Rylie Evans stole the ball and rushed down the court to make a layup which sent the game into triple overtime.
Heading into triple overtime with the game tied at 33, the two teams continued to battle back and fourth. Marissa Parks made a layup for the Crusaders that was quickly followed by a Fayetteville Academy basket which tied the game at 35 with 3:00 minutes left to play in triple overtime. Marissa Parks then came up with another basket for the Crusaders to extend the Crusader lead to 37-35 with 1:40 left to play. After three made free throws for the Lady Crusaders, which extended their lead to 40-35, the Eagles answered with a basket to cut the lead back to 40-37 with 42.8 seconds left to play. The Eagles forced a Crusader turnover but could not make a three point shot to tie the game. Emily Benton then made one free throw at the line to seal a 41-37 triple overtime victory over the Fayetteville Academy Lady Eagles. HCA's long, fought out victory improved the Lady Crusaders to 13-2 (6-1) on the season. The Lady Crusaders will vie for the regular season conference championship on Friday, January 30 as they take on Fayetteville Christian at home in the Crusaders' Annual Pink Out Game. HCA came up short against the Warriors in their last meeting where they lost 46-42.