Byline: Tom Flanagan
WORCESTER - When rumors became fact and former Whitinsville Christian School star player Colin Richie transferred to a prep school this season, local Division 3 teams may have seen a chance to knock the mighty Crusaders from their familiar perch at the top of the division.
If Friday night's performance is any indication, that window of opportunity may not be as wide as previously thought.
Helped by a balanced offense and a dominating fourth quarter, Whitinsville Christian topped Holy Name High, 70-53.
The game was tied, 44-44, heading into the fourth quarter, when the Crusaders' Graham Tienhaara took things into his own hands and took the ball to the basket to collect 11 of his team-high 20 points.
"Coach (Jeff) Bajema has been telling me to take the ball to the hoop, and I took that advice to heart, especially in the fourth quarter," said the 6-foot-3 junior, who also showed a variety of slippery low-post moves, including one that he finished with a hook shot that would have made a 1950s pivot man proud. "We're a young team, and we're still working on some things, but I think we have the talent, and we really wanted to come out and push it and get off to a quick start."
The Crusaders (1-1) got the start they wanted by jumping out to a quick 6-0 lead, sparked by a pair of Tim Dufficy's steals-turned-layups.
The Naps (0-3), however...