After a sluggish first quarter, the fifth-seeded Holy Cross boys basketball team ran all over No. 28 Wamogo on the way to a 73-34 victory in Tim McDonald Gymnasium in their Class S first round game on Monday night.
The Crusaders led just 11-9 after the opening eight minutes, but turned it up several notches the rest of the way against a young Warrior squad. Holy Cross led by more than 40 in the fourth quarter as it turned the game into a laugher. The Crusaders will play University next in the second round. University took down Waterbury Career Academy.
Holy Cross got Deandre Wallace back, and he had a big impact inside. Wallace scored 12 points in the second quarter as the Crusader lead ballooned to 31-13 by the halftime break.
“That was a great boost for us,” head coach Ed Generali said of getting Wallace back.
Wallace had 16 points and 16 rebounds while Justin Strielkauskas added 13 points and Dyllan Tyson 11 for Holy Cross. The Crusaders had a balanced attack throughout the night.
“We have 12 guys suit up, and 10 of them play,” Generali said.
The Holy Cross bench eventually wore out Wamogo, but Generali actually thought the slow start was a good thing for his squad.
“These games are the games where kids just think they’re going to win the game,” Generali said.
Generali added: “It was good for our kids to start off slow and have to turn the pressure up.”
And turn the pressure up Holy Cross did. Wamogo often had trouble getting the ball across half court. Any soft pass was a candidate to be picked off as the Crusaders got after it on defense.
On one side note, Wamogo sophomore Garrett Coe is going to be a pain in the Berkshire League in his last two years. The 6-foot-5 big man played pretty well against a plethora of athletes underneath the hoop. Coe ended the game with 18 points.
On this night, however, Holy Cross had way too much for Wamogo to handle. Once the Crusaders got going, there was no stopping them. Next up for Holy Cross is another home game against University.