Crusaders wins their third consecutive district title

You had to admire the moxie of the Helias Crusaders.

All during the first half, the Crusaders put up 3-pointers. And more often than not, they missed.

But the Crusaders kept at it and finally got some production from beyond the arc in the second half to propel them to a 54-46 win over Eldon in the title game of the Class 4 District 10 Tournament.

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The Crusaders turned their long-range effort around from 2-of-17 in the first half to 5-of-11 after the break to capture their third consecutive district title.

“We’ve been saying all year long we don’t want to be labeled as a team that only wins when it shoots the ball well,” Helias coach Josh Buffington said. “We proved that we can shoot the ball poorly and still get big stops defensively when we’re struggling with our confidence on offense.

“To win it like this is pretty sweet. Not only do you have the pressure of a district championship game, you have the pressure of playing somebody on their home court in front of their whole town.”

It was especially tough sledding in the first quarter, as Helias put up 10 3s and came away empty each time.

“We were very fortunate,” Eldon coach Jimmy Lincoln said. “Early in the game, they got some open looks and didn’t knock them down.”

Neither team hit much in the first quarter, which ended with the Mustangs leading 9-7.

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