ans were really good about closing off the lane and making GA take tough jump shots inside the arc.
“GA has two studs and we knew we’d have our work cut out for us,” Krasna said. “They filled it up a bit in the second half but I thought our guys just executed the game plan. One of the keys for us was defend without fouling and we did that in the first half.”
Jimmy Duffy, one of CRN’s co-captains, hit a turnaround buzzer-beater in the lane to end the first frame and it certainly emboldened the Indians offensively. Leading 13-5 after one, CR North stretched its lead out to 21-7 on an 8-2 run to start the second.
The Indians moved the ball very well with senior co-captain point guard DJ Mischak orchestrating things. After a trey by GA’s Juan Adames cut it to 21-10, CRN scored the next eight and ended the half on a 14-2 run punctuated by a Mischak triple with 0.9 left on the clock.
“I think it was a lack of effort,” Fenerty said. “The effort we put forth on Wednesday against Pennington and even against Cristo Rey last Saturday was not evident tonight. I’m not sure why that it is, but sometimes that’s the hardest part of the game.”
A bucket by Mischak (13 points) put CR North up 41-13, giving the Indians their largest lead at 28 points with 4:16 left in the third quarter.
GA finally woke up over the last twoplus minutes of the third quarter. A putback by Diego Carrasco sparked a 14-0 run by the Patriots that sliced the lead down to 43-30 with 18 seconds left in the frame.
One of the issues with trying to dig out of such a big hole is the other team has plenty of space to keep pushing the lead out. The Indians did just that with their free throw shooting, including two key makes by Hunter Wan that ended GA’s spurt.
“We had multiple guys knock them down, Hunter Wan, DJ Mischak, Andrew Stewart, when those guys got to the line, they capitalized and gave us more breathing room,” Krasna said. “Those were big plays in that third quarter. We didn’t have a field goal in the latter half of that third quarter.”
Longino, GA’s leading scorer, had a frustrating night and posted just nine points while Basile had 10.
GA will play in the tournament consolation game Saturday at 1:30.
“We started 2-0, beat a really good Pennington team and I think we started to think we were back, well, we’re not back, not yet,” Fenerty said. “We’re still relatively young and the hardest part of improvement is between your ears.”
It’s just one game, but Krasna hopes his guys will continue to believe, starting with the tournament final on Saturday at 5.
“The biggest thing, and it’s something the coaches have known all along, you have to believe,” Krasna said. “A win like that, it does make you believe. We’ve believed in our guys ever since we met them so now it’s a matter of them taking that step.”