By The Daily Item
Susquehanna clung to a slim advantage with 1:25 left in the opening round of the Hoops for Hounds tournament when the Crusaders received help from a local product.
Lourdes grad Nikki Komara converted a layup on an assist from Williamsport native Jonaida Williams and Williams knocked down a jumper on the next trip down the floor to help the Crusaders hold off Richard Stockton, 66-61.
Richard Stockton (2-6) took a 50-48 lead midway through the second half but the Crusaders (3-4) answered on buckets from Williams and Komara to pull in front. A 3-pointer from Mariah Monahan gave the Crusaders a seven-point lead on the tail end of a 9-0 run.
The Ospreys kept the game within reach over the final minutes but the Crusaders had enough offense to stay ahead despite a late run by the Ospreys to pull within three, 60-57.
The Crusaders held a slim 33-31 lead at the half with a layup by Williams with 32 ticks left providing the difference.
Monahan led the Crusaders with 17 points, continuing her stretch as Susquehanna’s leading scorer this year. Komara added 11 points while Williams poured in 12 points along with grabbing six rebounds in her hometown. Williams helped to lift the Crusaders to a win with 10 of 12 points coming in the second half.
The Crusaders used their perimeter game to stay in front, draining nine of their 15 3-point attempts with four Crusaders each hitting two 3-pointers.
In a game which was tight throughout, the Crusaders took an eight-point lead, their largest of the game, on a 3-pointer from Monahan to take a 60-52 lead with 4:25 left.
The Crusaders will face the host Lycoming Warriors for the title tomorrow at 3 p.m.