By Matt Murphy ‘21

Brother Rice basketball is back up in full swing! After several months of being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team finally got the green light to lace the shoes up. On January 27, the IHSA finally revealed their schedule for the return of sports. Basketball happened to be the first sport up to return, giving all teams one week of practice effective immediately before competition can begin. The Crusaders hit the gym as soon as they could to prepare themselves to win the Catholic League.

The Crusaders are returning two of last year’s starters in Luke Moustakas and Garrett Greene. Moustakas, a 6-foot-8-inch forward who recently committed to Northwest Missouri State, was a key factor in last year’s success, helping the Crusaders to a 21-11 season. His presence on the floor keeps the Crusaders going as he is a “score first” type of player. Greene, a 6-foot-4-inch unsigned senior, was a late bloomer during last season. He made his first significant appearance last year against St. Ignatius, coming off the bench in the second half scoring 14 points to boost the Crusaders. He will be one of the best shooters on the squad this season and will look to rack his point up beyond the arc. It will be quite a show to see what these two can do this season along with the rest of the deep senior class.

Last Monday, the Crusaders took a ride up north to Providence St. Mel High School to take on the Knights in the season opener. The Crusaders had a strong appearance in the first half as they went into the locker room with a 40-18 lead. Cullen Cosme led the first half with 10 points and multiple assists. After the half, the Crusaders did not back down and take their foot off the gas. Ahmad Henderson came out strong in the second half and scored ten points in the 3rd quarter, which helped give them a 66-31 lead after the quarter. Brandon Bryant had a phenomenal appearance off the bench as he tallied 15 points and a handful of assists. The Crusaders went on to defeat the Knights with a 72-42 victory, giving them their first win of the season.

This past Wednesday, the Crusaders welcomed the Broncos of Montini High School. This game was an overall classic on the Crusader side. At the half, the Crusaders held a sustainable lead as they were up 39-23. This was an amazing defensive game by the Crusaders. Every player contributed in the game and several players racked up a handful of points. Ahmad Henderson led the way and Nick Harrell had a big night as well. The Crusaders went on to win 71-46 and improved to 2-0 on the season.

The Crusaders are approaching the meat of their schedule. They will have two tough consecutive weeks as they face off against the top teams in the Catholic League. Many great games to look forward to in the next couple weeks for the Crusader fans. Although you may not be able to attend the games in person, BRTV will have you covered as they livestream every home game for the Crusaders!