Crusaders compete in CCS playoffs

Patrick O’Brien ’19
Justice Turner ’19 goes for a layup against the Bellarmine Bells.

Eddie Monares ’19, Exchange & Social Media Editor

The 2019 Riordan basketball season was very successful, filled with many great moments and sensational wins.


In 2017-2018,the Crusaders finished sixth in WCAL with a record of 4-10; however, in 2018- 2019, the Crusaders flipped that record around, finishing 10-4 and second in WCAL.


Zachary Quanico ’19 said, “I feel that our improvement in work ethic greatly impacted our success in developing a great team this year.


The team was terrific at home this season with a record of 5-2 at the Crusader Forum, including a 44 point victory versus Sacred Heart Cathedral, a close win over Archbishop Mitty, and a Senior Night victory over Serra.


On the road, the Crusaders were just as tough, posting a 5-2 record as well, with a close win over Sacred Heart Cathedral led by a career high 23 points from De’Sean Johnson ’19, as well as wins over Saint Ignatius and the defending WCAL Champion, Bellarmine Bells.


With a great team also comes accolades for individuals. Riordan was represented twice on theAll WCAL First Team with the electric backcourt of Je’Lani Clark ’20 and Bryce Monroe ’20.


Riordan was also featured on the All WCAL Second team with senior sharpshooter Justice Turner ’19 and two-way guardChime Ugbaja ’19 was an

Honorable Mention.


The Crusaders received the second seed in the Central Coast Section (CCS) Open Division playoffs and faced WCAL rival,St. Francis, in the first round.


Although the Crusaders were down early, a 19-5 second quarter as well as 18 points from Monroe and 15 from Turner propelled the Crusaders to a 69-53 win.


In the semifinals, the Crusaders were faced with another WCAL rival, Bellarmine. Monroe ledall scorers with 27 points, but unfortunately that was not enough as the Crusaders fell 68- 61 in overtime.


Quanico said, “We definitely were all disappointed about our performance this year due to all the talent we had. Our expectations were very high but we didn’t accomplish them due to lack of focus and the mentality of being too comfortable with the talent we have.”


Despite coming up short in CCS, the Crusaders were awarded the eighth seed in the NorCal Division I playoffs and faced the Folsom Bulldogs in the first round.


Monroe led all scorers with 25 points, but that wasn’t enough as the Crusaders dropped a nail biter 68-64, ending their season.


Quanico said, “We turned the whole program around for sure, but just didn’t accomplish any of the goals we set for ourselves which was very disappointing.”


With seven seniors graduating, including three starters, Quanico is still confident in Riordan being an elite team for years to come.


“I can always depend on Riordan to be in the mix of success.”