By Steve Svetovich
Tyler Mozeleski and Pat Galvin combined for 37 points as the Holy Cross Crusaders won the District 2 Class 2A title, 55-39, over Northwest Area Saturday, March 3, at Mohegan Sun Arena.
And Holy Cross remains hot, earning its 17th consecutive win of the season.
Mozeleski, clutch all season, scored 11 of his game high 19 points in the first quarter of the title win. Galvin, always a producer, scored 18 points in the win. Still, the Crusaders’ stingy defense was the turning point in the big win.
The Crusaders defense forced 14 turnovers in the first half.
Holy Cross forced eight turnovers in the first quarter and held Northwest scoreless for the final 5:11 of the period.
Kieran Burrier added nine points for Holy Cross in the title win. Burrier has been brilliant all season for the Crusaders. Both teams advance to the PIAA playoffs.
Holy Cross, which defended its district title, opens up with District 4 runner- up Northeast Bradford.
The Crusaders finished the first quarter on a 12-0 spurt and a commanding 17-4 lead.
Mozeleski, a junior, was red hot, hitting on five 3-pointers. Four of those 3-pointers came in the opening 16 minutes of the contest.
The Crusaders had a 26-11 lead after the first half after forcing six more turnovers in the second quarter.
Holy Cross veteran basketball coach Al Callejas has stressed defense all season long and it paid off mightily.
Sam Saxe scored eight of his team high 14 points in the second half for Northwest which stayed fairly close until the very end.
Saxe hit a jumper followed by a short bucket by Matt Saxe bringing Northwest to within 16 points, 50-34, but then the Holy Cross defense got tough again.
The Crusaders held Northwest standout Jaxson Yaple to nine points, including only two in the first half, in the contest. The team then ran its record to 20-6 with its 17th straight win. Northwest fell to 10-15. Callejas was most proud of the Holy Cross team defense following the district title win.
Holy Cross easily defeated Blue Ridge, 63-34, and Old Forge, 45-25, to get to the district title game.