The Crusaders of Lancaster Catholic completed their perfect season on Wednesday, March 28, with a 51-36 win over the Saints of Berks Catholic for the girls PIAA 4A state title. Their season ended with the same amount of losses as they had started with: zero.
It was no surprise to see junior and Division 1 recruit Kiki Jefferson leading the charge for the Crusaders. The 6-foot sensation finished the game with a double-double, 24 points and a whopping 15 rebounds. She was fired up and ready to go, pumping up the crowd after knocking down some big shots. She made both of her 3-point attempts, shot 8-for-17 overall and made all but one of her seven free throw attempts. The Saints did not have an answer for her and she controlled the game as she wanted.
Berks Catholic had a slight lead after a quarter of play as senior Molly Duncan heaved up a half-court shot that banked in for the Saints. The Saints were fired up, but it was the Crusaders that came out firing in the second quarter and took over from there.
“Coach just told us to keep our poise. We know it’s a long game and we just got to keep our poise and keep playing,” Jefferson said after ending the first quarter down by one.
The Crusaders shot for just about 44 percent from the floor compared to the Saints’ 26 percent in the second quarter. The momentum really began to swing when the Crusaders took off on a 10-0 run in the second quarter. They turned up their pressure on defense, which led to quick and easy layups.
The Crusaders smothered the Saints, forcing them to turn the ball over 14 times compared to just six for the Crusaders. Eleven of those 14 turnovers were steals.
“I have the easy part with game planning. The girls have the hard part, executing. And they did it to perfection all year. So happy for the girls,” Crusaders’ coach Charles Detz said about the win.
Senior Dejah Terrell put in a good effort, having a double-double of her own with 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Saints. It just was not enough for them to stop the Crusaders from claiming their fourth state title victory.
Jefferson is going to enjoy this win, but is going to keep working hard. “We gonna celebrate this one for about a week, then get back in the lab and work on AAU,” Jefferson said.
Jefferson not only helped her team to a perfect season and state title, but found herself a prom date after being asked after the game.