By: John Nee '93
Anytime St. Rita travels to 99th and Pulaski, they tend to bring along a few friends. Last night was no exception as the "Mustang Maniacs" showed up in full force dressed all in black to help the varsity basketball team to a thrilling 48-45 win over the Crusaders.
Sophomore Joel Watts (15 points) led three Mustangs in double figures as the St. Rita defense held the perimeter-orientated Crusaders to just (6-29) from behind the arc.
Brother Rice hit a long jumper on the first possession of the game to jump out to an early 3-0 lead, providing some hope for the "Crusader Crazies," but they would never lead again while the Mustangs would lead by as many as 13 in the third quarter.
St. Rita started the game strong as they led Brother Rice 14-9 at the end of the first. That lead would be 29-25 at the teams headed into the halftime locker room.
A quick 9-0 run to start the third helped St. Rita to a 38-25lead (their largest of the game) before a late quarter run by the Crusaders made it 40-36 heading into the fourth.
The sophomore Mustangs (18-4) set the tone for the night as they blew away the Crusaders 57-39 in the evening's opening act for their 11th win in their last 12 games as Coach Roshawn Russell kept his team on pace to win their 2nd consecutive sophomore Catholic League title.
St. Rita (13-10) will next travel to DeLaSalle Friday night to battle the Meteors in a 7pm varsity contest following the sophomore game at 5:30pm.