It was a day of mixed emotions for Holy Cross basketball supporters on Friday.
The boys team, seeded fifth in Class, moved on to the semifinals with a 77-41 thrashing of No. 20 East Hampton inside Tim McDonald Gymnasium. Holy Cross earned a date with top-seeded Immaculate of Danbury, a 72-57 winner over No. 8 Westbrook, in a semifinal game to be played on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Masuk High School in Monroe.
The girls were not so fortunate. Playing against top-seeded and undefeated Cromwell, No. 4 Holy Cross hung around for a while in its semifinal matchup at Berlin High School. A big Panther run in the second quarter allowed them to take control, then a back-breaking three-point play at the third quarter buzzer sounded the beginning of the end. The Crusaders saw a great season. end with a 58-46 loss to the Panthers.
Here's more on each game:
No. 5 Holy Cross 77, No. 20 East Hampton 41
The Crusaders jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back against the Bellringers. Nyzair Rountree had another big game for Holy Cross with 21 points. Jonathan Mowatt tallied 16 points, Justin Strielkauskas had 11 and Marcellus Gomes added seven. Each player was strong on the backboards as well for the Crusaders, who improved to 18-7.
No. 1 Cromwell 58, No. 4 Holy Cross 46
The Crusaders held a 22-20 lead midway through the second quarter, then saw the Panthers go on an 11-2 spurt to lead 31-24 at halftime. Holy Cross appeared to be down nine at the end of the third quarter, then Cromwell made an old-fashioned three-point play at the buzzer to go up 43-31. It was too much of a deficit for the Crusaders to overcome. Holy Cross hurt its chances with 20 turnovers against an aggressive Cromwell pressure defense.
Senior RaShana Siders had a big final game for Holy Cross with 30 points. The Crusaders also graduate Caitlin Cipriano, Kaitlyn Grimshaw and Brianna Cracco. Holy Cross ended the season with a record of 24-3.