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Crusader hoop men run Mesa League record to 5-0 Phillip Brents | Fri, Feb 01 2013 01:38 PM

A scan of the San Diego Section record book reveals that the Marian Crusaders won Class 1A boys basketball titles in 1967 and 1968 under coach Jan Chapman.

Most recently, Marian finished runner-up in the 2001 Division V championship game under then coach Chris Moeller.

Fast forward 11 years and the Mater Dei Catholic Crusaders are 17-5 and alone atop the Mesa League standings with a 5-0 record.

Are these 2012-13 Crusaders that proverbial team that comes around once every 10 years?

Head coach Kenny Caesar and his charges will find out over the course of the next few weeks.

The Crusaders are halfway along in their quest to claim this year’s Mesa title after defeating host Hilltop, 79-35, on Wednesday.

MDC crowned Bonita Vista, 74-36, last Friday in rolling to 10 games over the .500 mark. The Crusaders opened up a 12-0 lead on the visiting Barons and led 20-8 after the first quarter and 41-17 at halftime.

Caesar emptied his bench onto the court midway through the second quarter.

MDC stars Spencer Vering, Iman Chatman-Dixon, Lorenzo Eribez and Robert Harris continue to do their thing ... which is to score by multiple means.

Chatman-Dixon wowed spectators with a slam dunk to put an early exclamation mark on last Friday’s victory. He led the hosts with 16 points, followed by Vering and Harris with 14 each.

Israel Seales keyed the Crusaders Wednesday with 17 points, followed by Chatman-Dixon with 14.

“We’re strong and fast and playing with a little more confidence but we’re still young,” Caesar said. “We would like to be competitive. I’ve had these guys since they were freshmen and now they’re juniors. They’ve gotten bigger and faster. We don’t have any goals other than to get better each day.”

A big test comes Friday at Eastlake as second-round play tips off. Tip-off is 7 p.m.

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