By Steve Svetovich
Caleb Callejas and Kieran Burrier combined for 24 points to lead the Holy Cross Crusaders to its third straight District 2 Class AA title, 46-25, over Northwest Saturday, March 2.
Callejas scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers, and Burrier added 11 points and three steals in the district title game played at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
It was the seventh district championship for Holy Cross (20-5) coached by veteran Al Callejas.
The Crusaders enter the PIAA state playoffs for a 12th straight season and will face Bloomsburg, the third place team from District 4.
Northwest got off to a slow start scoring only four points in the first quarter against a tough Holy Cross defense. And those four points came in the first two minutes of the game.
The Crusaders got hot towards the end of the first quarter. Callejas hit two clutch 3-pointers as Holy Cross scored the final 11 points of the first quarter building a 13-4 lead. The Crusaders never looked back.
Burrier then took charge in the second quarter. He scored five of his 11 points. Tyler Mozeleski added added four more points for the Crusaders as Holy Cross built a 22-10 advantage.
Callejas hit on a jump shot and another 3-pointer in the third quarter as the Crusaders built a nice 27-10 lead.
Shortly after, Callejas hit two free throws and Leahy O’Connor and Burrier both scored as the Crusaders lead grew to 33-11 with four minutes left.
The Crusaders forced six turnovers in the third quarter while allowing only one field goal. Walker Yaple led Northwest (15-10) with 10 points. The Crusaders’ Tommy Montefour added six points, including a lay-up and tip-in at the buzzer to end the third quarter.
Holy Cross easily defeated Lackawanna Trail, 55-28, in the district semifinal contest at the Insalaco Arena at Marywood University Saturday, February 23.
Mozeleski had a huge game scoring 16 points and O’Connor added 12 to lead the Crusaders in the district semifinal win over Trail.
The multi talented Montefour added seven points, hauled down six rebounds and had three steals in the semifinal win.
The scrappy Burrier had six points and five assists. James Calciano added six points on two 3-pointers. Patrick Bennie added five points for the Crusaders.
Defense was the name of the game for Holy Cross as the Crusaders did not allow one player from Trail to score in double figures. Richard Helbing led Lackawanna Trail with nine points.