However, Nazareth came out the gates strong, taking a quick 4-0 lead with 5:26 to play in the first. However, after two scores by Brandon Rivera and one by Anthony Brown, McClancy was on top 6-4.
Nazareth answered with seven consecutive points to take an 11-6 lead en route to a 15-7 first quarter advantage.
“Nazareth set the tone at start of the game,” Kent said. “They’re a team you have to play from ahead. We wound up chasing them.”
Rivera answered with two quick baskets in the second, but Nazareth held strong till the half.
In the third quarter, McClancy pulled, bringing the home crowd to its feet, but Nazareth rolled off 10 consecutive points to quiet the gym.
Kent described the effort, saying: “We kinda turned it off and turned it on.”
The Crusaders fought back valiantly in the fourth, pulling the score within two on a Brandon Rivera basket, but Rivera could not hit the free throw, and Nazareth answered at the other end.
In the end, the Crusaders had no answer of Nazareth’s Gabe O’Neill or Marvin Lazor, who at one point scored and drew a foul, missed the free throw, grabbed the rebound and scored again while drawing another foul.
Nazareth held of McClancy for a 61-56 win. Nazareth’s record improved to 10-10 overall, 7-6 in division play, while the Crusaders fell to 15-4 overall, and 9-3 in the division.
McClancy will return to action Friday at 4:15pm when they take on Bishop Ford.