In front of a packed crowd, inside the Watson Jones Memorial Gymnasium, on the St. Augustine High School campus, the long-standing rivalry between the Purple Knights and the Brother Martin Crusaders basketball teams, didn’t disappoint, as the Crusaders made their presence known from the tip, as Grant DeLorde and TJ Small, set the tone for the Crusaders, by attacking the rim and getting wide open, mid-range shots, to stun the Purple Knights, taking a 19 – 9 lead at the end of the 1st Qtr.
The 2nd Qtr, brought more intensity and better rhythm from the Purple Knights, led by Sr. point guard D’Mari Wiltz, making his way to the lane for layups and 6th man, Sr. forward, also stand out wide receiver from the Purple Knights football team, Jaheim Walthers, whose the glue and toughness of the team, with his physical presence, as they both scored 4 pts. each, cutting into the Crusaders lead, going into halftime as the scoring slowed down by the Crusaders, but still maintaining the lead, with a score of 30 – 25, in front of a high energy Purple Knights student section.
After halftime, whatever Asst. Head Coach Deion Taylor, told his team, worked immediately, as Sr. shooting guard and leading scorer of the Purple Knights, Jaron Pierre, Jr., took control of the game and made his impact felt, by making, what seemed to be every shot that left his hands, scoring 12 in the quarter, be it from 3 or in the lane, but the Purple Knights began pressing the Crusaders and the stifling defense paid dividends for the Purple Knights, holding the Crusaders to 11 points in the quarter, as the Purple Knights took the lead, 47 – 41, heading to the 4th.
As Grant DeLorde and TJ Small, tried to get their Crusaders going again, the Purple Knights continued to attack on both ends of the floor, as the hot shooting and leadership of Jaron Pierre, Jr., continued, getting help from teammates, D’Mari Wiltz, Jaheim Walthers, Ashton Trufant, Jaden Clark and Eric William’s, as the 4th qtr. was a breaking even point, as the Purple Knights scored 16 to the Crusaders 15. Pierre, Jr., scored a game-high 24, with 12 pts., coming from Wiltz as DeLorde finished with 20pts and Small 19pts.
The next meeting between the two teams is February 7, at Brother Martin, but this night belonged to the Purple Knights, as they closed the doors on the Crusaders with a 63 – 56 victory. The Purple Knight are now 18 – 1, (3 – 0), in District 9-5A play. The next game for the Purple Knights is Friday 1/17/20 at Rummel against the Raiders.