By Steve Svetovich
It was a hard fought contest between two highly energized Dunmore borough teams.
Holy Cross came out on top this time.
Sophomore Pat Galvin and senior Billy Trainor combined for 31 points in the Holy Cross Crusaders win over Dunmore, 46-39, in the District 2 Class AA quarterfinal Friday, February 19, at the Lackawanna College Student Union.
The Holy Cross win eliminated the No. 3 seed Dunmore Bucks (19-7) from the district playoffs.
Galvin led the No. 6 Crusaders with six rebounds in the win. Trainor added four assists.
However, the Crusaders lost a hard fought battle to Trinity High School, 60-43, in the first round of the PIAA Class AA boys’ basketball playoffs, Saturday, March 5, at Central Dauphin East High School.
Holy Cross ended another solid season with a 16-10 record. The Crusaders were 20-7 last season when the team reached the District 2 Class AA championship game.
Senior 6-3 guard Trainor, the only returning starter for the Crusaders this season, scored 11 points in his final game. He scored eight of his 11 points in the first half against Trinity.
Galvin, a 5-8 sophomore guard, led Holy Cross with 13 points in the contest. He hit on three 3-pointers.
Although the Crusaders never led in the game, they never stopped battling. Holy Cross was down, 16-11, after the first quarter. Then an 8-0 run by Trinity to start the second quarter put the Crusaders behind, 24-11. That spurt was too much to overcome.
Austin Gilbertson led Trinity with 21 points.
Matt Nelson, a 5-8 junior, added seven points for Holy Cross. Bailey Simrell. a 6-4 junior, added five points for the Crusaders.
The Holy Cross-Dunmore contest was a classic battle between the crosstown rivals.
Dunmore, coached by Tony Lacertoso, didn’t go down easy. The Bucks overcame a seven-point deficit and tied the score early in the fourth quarter.
However, Holy Cross veteran coach Al Callejas called a timeout.
The sharp shooting Trainor hit a couple jump shots on two straight possessions. The Crusaders did not look back.
This marked the fourth contest this season between the intra borough teams. Both teams won twice, but the Crusaders took home the biggest win.
Holy Cross started off quick in the contest with three straight 3-pointers. Trainor hit two and Galvin one as the Crusaders built a quick 9-2 lead.
Holy Cross led at the half, 21-15.
Dunmore rallied in the third quarter when 6-foot-7 center Jonathon Williams picked up his game. He had four of his eight points and hauled down five rebounds in the quarter.
A clutch basket by Dunmore’s Nick Maldonato to open the fourth quarter tied the game at 28-28. Maldonato scored six points in the game.
Trainor then hit a jumper to put the Crusaders up, 30-28. Dunmore’s Matt Murphy came back and hit a 3-pointer to give the Bucks a 31-30 lead with 6:30 left in the contest. That was to be Dunmore’s only lead.
Trainor came back and hit another clutch jumper. Malachi Phillips hit on two baskets. Then Baily Simrell hit on a hoop. That capped the 8-1 Holy Cross burst to give the Crusaders a 38-32 lead with 3:08 left in the game.
Still, the stingy Bucks would not give up.
Colin Holmes, who scored seven points, and Williams both hit buckets to pull the Bucks to within 38-36 with 1:14 left in the game.
The Crusaders responded as Philips scored on a reverse layup and Galvin and Trainor each hit on free throws.
A Noah O’Malley 3-pointer came a little too late for Dunmore as Holy Cross held on for the 46-39 win.
Holy Cross defeated Mountain View, 62-46, in first round playoff action Wednesday, February 17.
Trainor led the Crusaders with 15 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in the opening round win.
Simrell added 14 points. Phillips scored 12.
Trainor is one of only three graduating seniors for Holy Cross. J.J. Montefour and Chad Yurkovic also graduate this year.
With a slew of returning key players, coach Callejas should lead his team to another strong playoff run next season.
The future is bright for the Crusaders.