SALIDA -- Even a 30-point blowout victory leaves room for at least one hold-your-breath moment, and Modesto Christian survived two of those Saturday night in an 81-51 victory over Pacific Hills of West Hollywood.
With 2 minutes, 49 seconds left in the second quarter, guard D.J. Seeley crashed to the floor, holding his left ankle, and had to be helped to the locker room. Then, barely a minute into the third quarter, forward Reeves Nelson turned his ankle on nearly the same spot of the floor and limped to the bench.
Both would return to action, with Nelson scoring 16 of his game-high 27 points after being nicked. Seeley's sprain appeared to be the worst of the two, and he had only five of his 15 points while limping noticeably in the second half.
"I just played through it," said Seeley, holding an ice pack to his ankle.
"Both those guys are pretty durable, but that was 45 points going down right there," said Crusaders coach Gary Porter, whose team improved to 12-4. "Both of them are going to be OK, and both will be getting a couple days off."
The Bruins (11-8) entered on the momentum of a seven-game winning streak, and appeared to be equal to MC right up until the time they went to their bench.
Pacific Hills came out the more aggressive team, using a front-and-back sandwich defense to keep Nelson scoreless in the first quarter, and the Bruins held a 16-15 lead when they scored on the play in which Seeley turned his ankle. Slashing guard Derick Flowers had six of his 18 points in the second quarter.
But with that aggression came foul trouble, and when 6-foot-7-inch center Alex Osbourne picked up his third foul two minutes into the second quarter, the Bruins had no one to play the back-side defense on Nelson.
Free to roam, Nelson scored 14 points in the third quarter, after which the Crusaders held a 65-42 lead. Ten different MC players scored, which Seeley said may have been the best thing to come out of the game.
"We're still in the process of coming together as a team, and I think tonight helped that chemistry," Seeley said.
Bee staff writer Brian VanderBeek can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2300.