Crusader Sports History
May 18, 2021
Basketball 1 D.J. Part 1
It isn't often that a high school is excited about its basketball prospects for the upcoming season be­cause a freshman is joining the varsity. But that's what happened for the 2002-3 Brother Martin season.
  • The freshman was D.J. Augustine, who had demonstrated his sensational skills on the freshman team the year before. He could have started for the varsity but that would have cost him his senior year of eligibility.
  • In addition, D.J. was not the only promising newcomer for the varsity. Talented sopho­mores Ryan Brock, Corey Bloom, and Courtney Wallace moved up from the freshman team.
  • To make matters worse (for the opposition), 6'6" C Adam Kraus returned for his senior year.

Coach John Lavie's Crusaders won 12 of their first 14 games.

  • The first loss was to Warren Easton in the opener 59-57 on a tip-in at the buzzer.
  • The Saders won both the Brother Martin and Jesuit Tournaments before losing to the Blue Jays 44-42 in the finals of the CYO Tournament. Nevertheless, D.J. was chosen the tourna­ment MVP.
  • The Crusaders entered district play with a 16-5 record. They would lose only three more games the rest of the season.

2002-3 Brother Martin Crusaders
Martin won their first five district games.
  • The opener was the closest, a 60-59 squeaker over St. Augustine. The Crusaders got the deciding run they needed at the start of the fourth quarter to increase their lead to 54-48. The Purple Knights sank a three-pointer as time expired to pull within one point. Leading scorers: Augustin 26, Bloom 20
  • Trailing by nine at Holy Cross midway through the third quarter, the Saders went on a 10-0 run. They converted all eight free throws in the final minute to win 59-53. Leading scorers: Brock 20, Augustin 16
  • The Crusaders won at De La Salle 73-60. Leading scorers: Blake Albert 19, Augustin 16
  • Adam Kraus scored 14 of the Saders' first 16 points to set the tone in the 68-55 vic­tory over Jesuit. The Blue Jays reduced the deficit to four with two minutes left before free throw shooting allowed BM to pull away. Leading scorers: Kraus 19, Albert 15
  • In a battle for first place at Rummel, Martin started poorly, missing all six free throws in the first quarter and committing 10 turnovers in the first half. Yet they still led 24-22 thanks to excellent defense against the Raiders' three-point shooting. The Saders got their act together after the break to lead 43-33 at the end of the third period. The final score was 57-46. Leading scorers: Bloom 13, Augustin and Kraus 12
  • The Crusaders stubbed their toe at Shaw when they could not overcome another slow start. They trailed 23-11 after the first eight minues and lost 73-66 to fall back into a tie with Rummel for first place. Leading scorers: Augustin 23, Kraus 17
The Crusaders went 5-1 in the second round also.
  • Two three-pointers by D.J. sparked a 12-0 third-quarter run that propelled the Crusa­ders to a 66-57 victory over the Purple Knights. Martin struggled in the first half because of poor ball handling and led by only 27-25 at the half. Leading scorers: Augustin 25, Bloom and Wallace 13
  • The Crusaders opened a 40-27 lead in the third quarter against Holy Cross before the Tigers went on a 20-7 run to tie the score at 47 with 3:25 remaining. But Martin sank nine of 11 free throws in an 11-3 run to close out the 58-50 triumph. Leading scorers: Bloom 21, Augustin 17
  • Martin again jumped to a first quarter lead 20-8 and this time did not allow the oppo­nent to come close in the 73-55 victory over De La Salle. Leading scorers: Albert 22, Augustin 12
  • Kraus, who scored 19 against Jesuit in the first round, was held to seven as the Blue Jays scored a surprisingly easy 58-43 victory on their home court. Leading scorer: Augustin 15.
  • Rummel came to Elysian Fields leading the Crusaders by a half game in district standings. With only two games remaining, the clash would determine the district championship. The Raiders led by 11 at halftime before Martin cut the deficit to 42-38 after three periods. Then the Saders forced seven fourth-quarter turnovers to take their first lead since the first quarter, 48-47, on a steal and layup by Albert with 2:23 left. With 1:20 left, Blake turned a steal into a layup and a free throw to make it 51-49. Augustin sank 10 free throws (out of 30 by the Saders for the game) in the final two minutes to secure the 63-56 victory. "Rummel's defense took away our outside game," said Coach Lavie. "The two plays by Albert were huge in the fourth quarter, and we got the ball in the hands of D.J., who is clutch." Leading scorers: Augustin 34, Bloom 14
  • With first place secured thanks to their two victories over Rummel, the Crusaders could have let down in the finale against Shaw. But they gained revenge for the first-round loss to the Eagles 62-53. In what was becoming a familiar script, the Saders hit all eight of their free throws in the final 65 seconds after their 23-12 surge in the third period overcame a three-point halftime deficit. "The third quarter was huge for us," said Lavie. "We got some big defensive steals and some layups. This is a wonderful feeling. It's a tough league. Our kids played their hearts out tonight. They made some tough plays when it counted. I'm very proud of my boys, and I'm proud to be the coach at Brother Martin."

To be continued ...


D.J. Augustin

Adam Kraus

Corey Bloom

Blake Albert

Crusader Quiz
Match each member of the Crusader 2002-3 basketball team with the first college where he played basketball.
  1. D.J. Augustin
  2. Corey Bloom
  3. Ryan Brock
  4. Courtney Wallace

A. Houston
B. Louisiana-Lafayette
C. Texas


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