25 Teams In 25 Days: Archbishop Stepinac Crusaders

The 2017-18 season at a Glance: 27-5 overall record, CHSAA “AA” city champions, NY State Federation champions

Key additions: Malcolm Chimeze, Justin Morety

Players to Watch: Adrian Griffin jr., Ed Sanchez, RJ Davis

The Archbishop Stepinac Crusaders shocked a lot of people last season by taking the CHSAA city championship and NYS federation championship, and they look to repeat as champions once again at 2018-19. The Crusaders will enter the season ranked No.39 on Prep Circut’s top 50 national rankings. The Crusaders are also ranked No 42 on Max Preps Top 100 National rankings.

Among the returning players on this team are RJ Davis a 5-10 guard who plays beyond his years. Davis was injured for most of the preseason, but all signs are pointing to him being ready for the start of the season. Adrian Griffin Jr. a 6-5 Sophmore wing looks to pick up from where he left off last season. Ed Sanchez will continue to make an impact on this crusaders squad as a senior. The 6-2 guard has come up big in clutch situations with his three-point shooting.

The Crusaders have some new faces on the team to look out for as well. Justin Morety a 6-3 junior guard, and Malcolm Chimeze a 6-8 forward gives the Crusaders an inside presence they need now that Joel Soriano and Xavier Wilson have both graduated. Morety will have a big year for the Crusaders as he adds some depth to a guard-heavy team.

Key games to Watch

November 30th at Cardinal Hayes

The Crusaders will start their season on the road at Cardinal Hayes in a rematch of last year’s NY Archdiocesan championship. Starting the season with a road game is something this Crusaders team is used to. It will be one game that will sell out before game night.

December 14th at Christ the King

A rematch of the CHSAA city championship in Queens? Why not? Road games in the CHSAA are a w true test for teams every season, but the Crusaders will come prepared.

December 21st and 22nd Westchester County Slam Dunk tournament

The Crusaders will face CHSAA rival st. Raymond’s on the 21st then play the winner of Curtis vs. LuHi on the 22nd.

December 26-31st Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The Crusaders are one of many NYC area teams that will be playing in this tournament. It will be interesting to see who they will face.

January 4th Crusader Classic at Westchester county center vs. Iona Prep.

If you were at the crusader classic last year, you witnessed a classic between the crusaders and their crosstown rival Iona Prep. The game on January 4th could be the same, and it’s the perfect game to start in 2019.

January 13th vs. Roselle Catholic at the Empire Invitational.

The Crusaders will have a big nonleague game against the defending Essex County and New Jersey Group B- Non-public State champion Roselle Catholic. The Lions feature UNLV Commit Nate Pierre-Louis and Kentucky Commit and 5-star Forward Khalil Whitney. This game will take place at the third annual Empire Invitational which will take place at Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx.

Outlook and prediction

another deep postseason run is on the horizon for this Stepinac team, The crusaders have great coaching, two of the top players in the tri-state area along with a great supporting cast of players which make them a very tough team to beat.