The sweet feeling of revenge. It was in the air Wednesday night at the Capital Center, where Capital Crusaders faced off with the Marietta Pioneers, a team they lost big to in January. You could tell it was on their mind during warmups, as they were shooting around for fifty of the sixty minutes of warmups that we were present to see. The Crusaders looked juiced up; either for revenge, or because they were wearing some nice new threads. Maybe both. The Lady Crusaders will be sporting pink uniforms through the month of February in honor of it being breast cancer awareness month.
The game started slow with neither team playing overly impressive in the first quarter, but Capital was able to benefit off of some sloppy ball-handling by the Pioneers, who had 11 turnovers in the opening quarter. The Crusaders led 10-5 at the end of it, but it was a scary quarter, as Caroline Taphorn landed awkwardly after a lay-up and went down for a few minutes. She would shake it off though, and continued to play.
In the second quarter, things started to speed up a bit. Fans saw both teams run the floor and score inside on eight consecutive possessions as the offensive production began to ramp up. Marietta had an impressive flurry near the end of the half to take a one-point lead, but Capital would punch back with the help of a buzzer beater from Kaylee Cyphers and take a 29-26 lead heading into the break.
Capital started the third quarter with a lot of intensity, out scoring Marietta 13-5 in the first six minutes. Marietta would not go away though, as they went on a 10-2 run of their own to end the quarter, which cut the Capital lead to 44-41. Capital was hanging on for dear life behind the play of Elli Wachtman. She was near double-double territory by the end of the quarter and was the sole reason Capital maintained a lead.
Marietta’s momentum from the third quarter carried over to the fourth, and they sprinted out to a 7-2 run to start the period. The game became an absolute slugfest with both teams delivering body blows; the lead went back and forth, but Marietta was ultimately able to outlast the Crusaders and spoil their revenge, 54-53. It was a hard fought game that went until the last second. Capital had a chance to win it but Marietta stole an inbound pass with 1.9 seconds left, and that would ice it.
Full game stats are available here. The heart breaking loss puts Capital at 11-9 overall, and 7-6 in conference play. You can catch the ladies back in action on Saturday, on the road against John Carroll at 3 P.M.