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NEWPORT â€“ Somebody forgot to tell the UCA Crusaders and the Whitcomb Hornets that their match-up on Saturday afternoon was a basketball game and not a football game. After a very physical contest that saw multiple complaints by the coaches and players, as well as over 25 combined fouls, the Crusaders came up short by a final score of 65-47.
UCA would fall behind early before 2 Paul Samaan free throws would make it 14-2, 5 minutes into the opening quarter of the contest. Chris DelaBruere would follow that up with a nice dribble-drive through the lane, but the Hornets were able to stretch the lead to double-digits and led by 18 at 22-4 at the end of 1.
The second quarter however was a different story for the Crusaders; two 3â€™s from Samaan and a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line for DelaBruere cut the Hornet lead to 29-15 with 3 minutes to go in the half. UCA was not done though as Samaan would tight rope along the baseline and go up-and-under to cut the lead to 10. The lead would eventually be reduced to 8 at 31-23 heading into the halftime break.
The 3rd quarter was like kryptonite to the Crusaders during this game. Whitcomb came out hot going 4-4 from behind the arch and stretching the leading back into double digits at 48-28. UCA could not find the bottom of the net during the period as the Hornet D stymied their offensive game plan.
United Christian would hang around in the 4th quarter, but they were never able to mount much of a comeback run. A Mitchell Roy lay-up off a nice assist from Chris DelaBruere cut the score to 20 and a Jon DelaBruere jumper from the low-block cut the lead to its final resting point of 65-47.
After the contest UCAâ€™s coach Tony DelaBruere was at a loss for words, â€śI thought they were more intense than us, we turned the ball over too many times, and I still canâ€™t get them to stop being so dribble-happy.â€ť
â€śThe 2nd half is usually our half so going on that run right before halftime, I thought we were going to be in good shape, but they [Whitcomb] came out with so much more intensity,â€ť he would go on to add.
The Whitcomb Hornets would have 4 players reach double-digits on the afternoon as Caleb Chase and Levi West would each knock down 13, Matt Kill would add 12, and Brody McClure would have 11.
UCA was led by Chris DelaBruere who had a game-high 23 including a perfect 11 of 11 from the free-throw stripe and Paul Samaan would chip in with 13.
While the Crusaders did lose this game, they were able to pick up a victory due to the Calvary Christian Academy forfeit the night before, thus their record now stands at (3-9). They will be back on the hardwood as the second game of a boy-girl doubleheader Saturday afternoon against Mid-Vermont Christian Academy. Tip-off is set for 2:30.