Crisfield edges out Havre De Grace, punches their ticket to Xfinity Center
HAVRE DE GRACE, Md.- In just his fourth year as head coach, Dave Arnold has taken the Crabbers from worst to first as they make it to their first state tournament since 2014. The Crabbers took down undefeated Havre De Grace 72-66.
With game time set for 7 o’clock, the gym was sold out at 5:50 for the 1A east regional finals. Down 4 as the first quarter came to an end, Crisfield’s Christian Crawford drained a 3 as the buzzer sounded to cut Warrior the lead to 17-16.
Second quarter and it was the same close game as the two teams went blow for blow. Warrior’s sophomore Marlon Lewis and Gary Gibson kept their team hot, combining for 17 in the first half. Justin Cohen and Crawford put up 7 points each as we went into the halftime break knotted up at 32 a piece.
The second half spelled trouble for the Crabbers as their big man CorTrey Fontaine picked up his 4th foul, sending him to the bench. With Fontaine on the bench, the Warriors were able to get out on a 6-0 run to take the 42-37 lead midway through the 3rd.
After a Crabber time out, Crisfield caught a second wind behind a huge quarter from their star senior Justin Cohen who was automatic from the line in this one. The Crabbers ended the 3rd on a big run to tie the game at 50 entering the fourth and final quarter.
As the final eight minutes began, Coach Arnold checked in Fontaine still carrying those four fouls and he played like he had zero. Fontaine made an immediate impact for the Crabbers, down 9, as he nailed a 3 and got a lay up plus the foul to go, cutting the HDG lead to just 2 with five minutes to play. Back and forth as time ticked away, clutch free throws from Cohen and Fontaine gave the Crabbers their final lead 68-66 with 50 seconds left in regulation. Stout defense in the final 50 for the Crabbers proved to be enough as they captured their first regional title since the 2013-2014 season.
The Crabbers will play the winner of Southern high school and New Era which will be played Saturday at 6 pm.
Justin Cohen led the charge for Crisfield with 28 points, 21 in second half. CorTrey Fontaine pitched in 15 in just 2 1/2 quarters. The Waters brothers Ryan (3) and Rykell (8)combined for 11 points, Christian Crawford came out with 10 points and Javen Smith rounded out the Crabber scorers with 8.