Crusaders roll past Hatboro-horsham
It was only four minutes into the action and a Joe Nance one-timer signaled lift off for the Lansdale Catholic ice hockey team. The Crusaders rocketed wristers at Hatboro-Horsham repetitively and of the three dozen shots on goal, a third of them found netting in a 12-2 win.
The most encouraging part was the Crusaders cruised without head coach Mike DiDinato and their top two scorers, Michael Longhitano and Andrew Hart. The win helps put a disappointing 6-3 loss to rpper Moreland behind them. Now they can start gaining ground in the SHSHL American Division.
“In a game like tonight you FDn finG youUVHOI noW giving it your all,” assistant coach Bill Becker said. “We have a couple things to work on, but in general it is about keeping the intensity up.”
Though DiDinato was absent from the bench, Hart was recuperating from a shoulder injury suffered away from the ice, and Longhitano was taking the night to battle the winter bug, the Crusaders still connected with regularity. Liam McCorry scored three of his four goals in the third period against the Hatters ( 0- 10). Those three goals came within the first three minutes of the final period and with more than 12 minutes remaining the mercy rule was put into action and the game was called.
“The boys really got themselves ready to play,” Becker said. “The two guys out tonight are key, so it was nice that other guys picked it up.”
Assistant captain Patrick Longhitano added three goals in the win. He knew with his younger brother not in uniform he was going to have to pick up his offense. The brothers have combined to score 33 goals in the 10 games. The senior defenseman and the sophomore forward make a deadly pair on the ice.
“I played Minutemen with him last year and this is my second year with him on this team,” Patrick said. “I have pretty much played with him my whole life and it is a lot of fun. We always know where each other is going to be on the ice.”
The improvements of both the Longhitano boys are a big reason the Crusaders (8-2) are keeping hope alive that they can catch Archbishop Wood for a division crown and make another deep run in the Flyer’s Cup.
“We knew we had to come ouW flyLnJ WKLV wHHN,” LonJhitano said. “We did that and got out of here fast. Once Andrew and Mike are back wH wLOO EH fiULnJ on DOO FyOinders. We are gearing up for the playoffs and we will be ready to go.”
The Crusaders lost the likes of Nick Sette to graduation, but bringing back a number of linchpins in their OLnHV PDGH WKHP FonfiGHnW they could compete with the best teams in the area. They do not just have a strong offense, but great chemistry. Almost like they were all brothers.
Lauren Crisler grabbed 12 rebounds, played tough on the defensive end, had a couple of key blocks to resounding cheers — and, oh yeah, also scored a game-high 24 points — to lead the North Penn girls basketball team to a 3V-26 win over Souderton Area Thursday night.
Crisler’s versatile performance gave the Maidens a regular-season sweep of their Suburban One Continental Conference rival and it allowed the Maidens to win in much more convincing fashion after the two teams battled into overtime WKH fiUVW WLPH DUounG.
“I knew this was going to be a tough game because Souderton’s a good team and they really wanted to come out and beat us,” Crisler VDLG. “:H MuVW KDG Wo fiJKW back and I think we really brought it as a team, not necHVVDULOy Ln WKH fiUVW KDOI, EuW in the second half we really picked it up.”
brin Maher hit a pair of key jumpers in the third quarter for the Maidens (131, T-1 conference), the second one putting them in front for good at 22-20. Crisler EDWWOHG WKUouJK WUDIfiF DnG scored from underneath to extend the margin to 24-20, and a drive by Vicky Tumasz and a score off a rebound by Crisler gave the Maidens an eight-point lead heading into the fourth.
“Lauren had a really big game - huge,” Maidens coach Maggie deMarteleire said. “She really played outstanding - she works hard. brin had a couple big baskets in the third quarter, and we needed that. We needed other people in order for us to win and I thought it was a great team effort in the second half.”
A three by Tumasz gave the Maidens a 33-24 lead midway through the fourth, and Crisler’s jumper with 3:10 to go put North Penn in fiUP FonWUoO DW 35-26.
6ouGHUWon (7-4, 5-3 Fonference), led by Bianca Picard’s 10 points, was up by three at the half, but the Maidens’ defense raised it up a notch after the break.
“The last time we played Souderton, we were fortunate to win — they were uS Ey 16 Ln WKH fiUVW KDOI,” deMarteleire said. “This time, I thought we really buckled down on defense.”
Mikaela Giuliani embodied the Maidens’ resolve, adding nine rebounds and fivH VWHDOV.
CULVOHU, wKo finLVKHG wLWK three blocks in all, scored all of the Maidens’ points in WKH fiUVW TuDUWHU Wo SuW WKHP ahead 8-T.
Both teams came out cold
SKRRWLNJ IRRP WKH flRRR, but Crisler was a steady force for North Penn. After Katie O’Connor hit a three to give the Indians a 3-0 lead, Crisler sank a pair of free throws and then scored underneath to push the Maidens in front 4-3.
Crisler again hit a pair of foul shots to give North Penn a 6-3 lead, and after a bucket by Souderton, Crisler’s jumper extended the margin to 8-5. O’Connor brought the Big Red within 8-T by the end of the quarter, but Crisler had gotten herself established right away.
“After our loss to CB West, that was a tough one, but I think we can go undefeated for the rest of the season and hopefully win this conference,” she said.
Souderton’s Austin Murphy takes a shot over North Penn’s Jason Jones during Thursday’s Suburban One Continental Conference action.