The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Bill Bowman

January 10, 2012

Bill Bowman's column on college sports: Crusaders learn lesson about closing

Crusader men learn lesson about closing

(Continued)

In winning time, the Crusaders made all the necessary plays.

"We played well in those spots when it mattered most," Marcinek said after Sunday's win. "My gripe with these guys has always been the last couple minutes of the half and the last couple minutes of the game. We were down nine, and we got it to three and that was key.

"We played pretty well down the stretch in overtime."

Those are big steps for this team. While SU has one of the league's most explosive scorers in Spencer, the Crusaders are incredibly young. Their roster has just two seniors (Spencer and little-used classmate Matt Modrick), while it is littered with 10 freshmen and sophomores. Its two captains are sophomores Jake Eskin and Wally Rutecki.

But Marcinek sees a lot of potential in this group, which is why wants them to do the little things now so they are natural when things really matter a month from now. They have won eight of nine since starting 0-4 and now have a big weekend coming up starting with a trip to Catholic on Friday night. The Cardinals were unbeaten in the Landmark before dropping games at Moravian and at Scranton by a combined six points over the weekend.

If the Crusaders can finish the way they finished Sunday, they are going to be in the mix in the Landmark from now until playoff time. But they have to be ready for Marcinek to nit-pick a little.

It's what coaches do when they think they have something special.

n Sports editor Bill Bowman covers college sports for The Daily Item. Email comments to bbowman@dailyitem.com.

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