By BRIAN CUNNIFF
WILDWOOD – If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the Wildwood Catholic Academy girls basketball team through seven games, it’s that the Crusaders can certainly defend.
Wildwood Catholic finished off its three-game appearance at the Boardwalk Basketball Classic Friday with another impressive defensive performance, holding Bishop Eustace to only five field goals in a 42-18 victory in a showcase game named for current Crusader assistant coach Fran St. John.
The win came one day after Wildwood Catholic held Timber Creek to just 16 points. And on the first day of the Boardwalk Classic, on Dec. 23, the Crusaders limited St. Hubert’s (Pa.) to just 21 points.
“Our defense has really progressed this year,” Wildwood Catholic coach Steve DiPatri said. “It’s been a focus. Our kids are starting to jump to the ball a little better and we’re guarding penetration a lot better than we did a year ago. We’re a little more of a veteran team than we were last year, and that helps.”
Against Eustace, Wildwood Catholic was in a 10-10 tie early in the second quarter before scoring the next 14 points to take a 24-10 lead. The Crusaders held Eustace without a point for more than nine minutes of game time.
Bishop Eustace scored just one point in the fourth quarter.
Wildwood Catholic’s Kaci Mikulski scored 17 points to lead all scorers. She hit baskets to beat the buzzer at the end of both the second and third quarters and also drained three three-pointers.
Wildwood Catholic is 7-0 heading into the new year.
“We just want to get better every day, that’s the focus,” DiPatri said. “We hoped to be at this point and we are, and now we head into the teeth of January.”