Crusaders Win 2020 Intraborough Boys Championship

Intraborough Holy Cross

The Intraborough Boys Basketball Championship Game between Dunmore and Holy Cross High Schools was recently held at Holy Cross High School.

This year the Holy Cross Boys defeated the Dunmore Boys by a score 69-46 and ended the regular season with a 20-2 record. The Holy Cross boys’ team is the top rated basketball club by the Scranton Times Sport Writers.

The game sponsored by the Dunmore Lions Club to help defray the cost of their College Scholarship Program is now in its 39thyear.  This year both teams will be entering the District Playoffs.

Holy Cross team members include, kneeling from left: Coach Mike Zayac, David Romanski, Hayden Hosie, Caleb Callejas, Head Coach Al Callejas, and Lion President Jim Aita, standing with trophy; Leahy O’Connor, Doug Walsh, and John Hartridge.

Standing, same order: Lions Angelo Martarano and Leo Wentline Jr.; Tyler Mendicino, Kyler Kovaleski, David Mariotti, Jalik Nicholls, Kieran Burrier, Angelo Norella, Coach Corey Joyce, Patrick Bennie, Joe Osborne, Coach Rob Heyen, T.J. Liuzzo, Will Kitrell, Jack Allardyce, JuJuan Nicholls, James Calciano, Sean Kennedy, Adam Mariotti, Coach Al Callejas, Lion Rich Green, Coach Tim Callejas, Lion Jim Colangelo, Logan Aldridge, and Coach Rich LaRussa.

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Intraborough Dunmore Bucks

Pictured above are coaches and players from Dunmore High School, including, kneeling in front from left: Austin Waters, Tommy Dougherty, Joe Mandarano, Owen Haggerty, Tommy Lewis, with trophy Head Coach Kevin Clark, Lion President Jim Aita, Rich Conte, and Kevin Walsh. Standing, middle row, same order: Lion Jim Colangelo, Coach Ryan Ehnot, Dom Temperino, Steve Borgia, Nico Ruggiero, Adriel DeNaples, Zack Cruser, Liam Crolly, Frankie Ruggiero, Aiden Sload, Hunter Robertson, Coach Michael Ehnot, Lion Rich Green, Coach Paul Biagoli, Lion Angelo Martarano, and Coach Jamie Monahan. Standing, back row: Lion Leo Wentline Jr., Luca boles, Colby Murray, Tyler Maciejewski, Jeffery Walsh, and Caid DeNaples.

Defense Leads Holy Cross to 4th Straight District 2 Class 2A Title

Crusaders 4 PEAT District 2 Champions

By Steve Svetovich

Veteran coach Al Callejas led the Holy Cross Crusaders to its fourth consecutive PIAA District 2 Class 2A title, 47-19, over Mountain View Saturday, February 29, at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Leahy O’Connor led the Crusaders with 14 points in the title win.

Patrick Bennie added 12 points and six rebounds for Holy Cross.

Holy Cross senior guard Kieran Burrier added six points, nine rebounds, six steals, three assists and a block in a nice all around effort.

Crusaders senior guard James Calciano scored six points.

Holy Cross (23-2) will now face District 4 third-place Sayre in the first round of the PIAA Class 2A playoffs Saturday, March 7.

The Crusaders relied on a tough defense forcing early turnovers to generate a 32-7 first half lead over Mountain View. The Crusaders then held Mountain View to only three points in the third quarter to extend the lead to 41-10.

The Crusaders’ first quarter defensive intensity forced eight Mountain View turnovers.

Burrier hit on a 3-pointer off a Caleb Callejas pass in transition off a turnover to give Holy Cross a 9-0 lead with 3:22 left in the first quarter. It was smooth sailing after that.

The Eagles managed only four shots in the first quarter due to a tight, stingy Holy Cross defense led by standout Burrier. The steady senior had four of his six steals in the first quarter. 

After an early 19-0 run, the Crusaders finished the first half out scoring the Eagles, 13-5, with Calciano scoring four of the points and backup guard John Hartridge hitting on a 3-pointer with 48 seconds left in the half.

The Crusaders pretty much put the game away by starting the second half on a 9-1 run, with baskets by O’Connor, Bennie, Calciano and Joe Osborne.

Michael Fanelli led Mountain View with 11 points.

The Crusaders defeated Blue Ridge, 68-24, in the quarterfinals, with Bennie scoring 15 and O’Connor and Burrier adding 13 and 11 points, respectively. Holy Cross beat Old Forge, 60-48 in the semifinals, a much closer contest.

Burrier is the Crusaders leading scorer at a shade under 16 points per game. O’Connor averages 11.6 points and Bennie 11.3 points per contest, respectively.

Holy Cross has won four straight and eight District 2 Class 2A championships overall in a basketball program that began in 2007-08. 

Mountain View is coached by former Holy Cross standout Joe Gibbons. He helped lead the Holy Cross program’s first team to a title in 2008 under Callejas. The Crusaders opened this season with a 51-26 win over Mountain View.

Callejas, a member of the Northeast Chapter of the PA Sports Hall of Fame, now has 512 career coaching wins and a highly impressive 41-6 record in District 2 playoff games.

Holy Cross boasts the program’s best record since 2008 when it finished 24-3.

Holy Cross and Mountain View played in the 2017 championship game won by the Crusaders, 46-18. 

Crusaders Take Home First Lynett Crown Since 2008

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Members of the Lynett Tournament title-winning Holy Cross Men’s Basketball team include, front row, from left: T.J Liuzzo, Adam Mariotti, Kieran Burrier, David Romanski, T.J. Callejas, Caleb Callejas, Sean Kennedy, Hayden Hosie, David Mariotti and John Hartridge. Middle row, same order: Coaches Corey Joyce, Rob Heyen, Tim Callejas, Al Callejas, Kyler Kovaleski, Mike Zayac and Al Callejas Jr. Back row: Tyler Mendicino, Jack Allardyce, Joe Osborne, Leahy O’Connor, Jajuan Nicholls, Pat Bennie, Jalik Nicholls, Angelo Norella, Will Kittrell, Doug Walsh, James Calciano and Logan Aldrich.

By Steve Svetovich

A clutch Kieran Burrier free throw with one second on the clock was the difference as the Holy Cross Crusaders defeated Scranton Prep, 55-54, Sunday, December 29, to earn its first Lynett Memorial Tournament title since 2008 at the Lackawanna College Student Union.

On his second free throw attempt, the ball danced around the rim and fell down. A Scranton Prep full court shot attempt failed and the Crusaders were victorious. 

Senior Caleb Callejas led Holy Cross with 23 points in the title win and was tournament MVP.

Burrier added 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Crusaders. 

Holy Cross ended Prep’s six-year reign as tournament champion.

Burrier created the game-winning foul shot opportunity when he corralled a loose ball at the Scranton Prep end of the floor. That sent him to the free throw line with close to one second left.

The Crusaders (7-1 at press time) started slow and were down by as many as 14 points in the first half. Prep’s Robert Rossi scored 12 of his 16 points in the first 16 minutes of the contest.

The Crusaders defense then tightened and Callejas got hot. He hit on his first 3-pointer with 6:31 left in the second quarter to pull the Crusaders within, 20-10. He then connected on his next five shots, including four more 3-pointers. That put Holy Cross within striking distance, down 40-35.

holy cross lynett calljas

Caleb Callejas was named MVP of this year’s Lynett Tournament.

Burrier and Callejas then both hit on 3-point shots that started a 10-1 Holy Cross run and the Crusaders suddenly had a 45-43 lead with 4:33 left in the title game.

Prep’s Rhys Merritt then connected on a 3-pointer to give the Cavaliers a one-point lead.

Then Pat Bennie, who totaled 10 points for Holy Cross, hit a 3-point shot and Callejas followed with a long 3-pointer for a 51-46 Holy Cross lead with 3:04 remaining in the contest.

In the final three minutes, Merritt hit a 3-pointer, Gavin Bednarz connected on two free throws and Michael Skoff had a 3-pointer for Prep. The score was knotted at 54-54 and Prep had the ball.

However, a late shot caromed off the rim and Burrier scurried for the loose ball resulting in his winning foul shot.

Rossi led Prep (6-2 at press time) with 16 points. Merritt added 13 and Skoff scored 10.

Holy Cross defeated Scranton, 61-58, Friday, December 27, in the Lynett Memorial Tournament semifinal game at the Lackawanna College Student Union. 

Burrier scored 22 points and added six assists and five rebounds in the win.

The Knights led 54-47 in the fourth quarter, but the Crusaders fought hard to take the lead.

Trailing 56-53, Callejas hit a short runner in the lane and Burrier scored off an offensive rebound. 

In the final minute, Callejas, who scored 13 points, hit on all four of his free throws.

Pat Bennie scored 11 points and hauled down 10 rebounds for the Crusaders. Leahy O’Connor added 10 points for Holy Cross. James Calciano added five points, including a clutch 3-pointer in the first quarter.

James Shields led Scranton with 22 points. The Knights played without point guard John Rose for most of the game. Rose was injured.

Holy Cross veteran coach Al Callejas commended his team for its resolve and never quiting.