With its offense not quite clicking, Lancaster Catholic found a way against visiting Columbia in Wednesday night's nonleague rivalry contest.
Using their tremendous size advantage, the Crusaders crashed the boards early and often.
Earning multiple second chances, while limiting the Crimson Tide at the other end, Lancaster Catholic jumped out in front and withstood Columbia's comeback bids in a 61-54 victory.
The Crusaders duo of 6-foot-6 David Kamwanga and 6-5 Trey Wells combined for 39 points and 24 rebounds, with Kamwanga leading with 23 points and 16 boards.
Lancaster Catholic earned its first win of the season thanks in large part to a 53-30 advantage on the glass.
Kamwanga pulled down five rebounds in the final three minutes, including his defensive board and full-court pass to Densel Kabasele for a layup that pushed the lead to nine late.
"I definitely think with this group, as big as we are, we'll see some different defensive looks," Crusaders coach Joe Klazas said. "We didn't have a chance to work on all of that stuff offensively, so it took us a little time to adapt to some things. But they responded well and rebounded extremely well."
Wells (16 points, eight rebounds) scored the first six points of the game as Catholic went out to a 10-2 start and led 12-9 after one.
"I was thinking I needed to find ways to get open and contribute to our team's success," said Wells. "We have a lot more size than other teams do and we have to use it to our advantage."
Columbia (0-3) cut the deficit to 15-14 after Luis Cruz-Molina drilled a 3-pointer for three of his team-high 20.
Michael Poole grabbed a steal, but a missed shot, followed by a Kamwanga rebound helped the Crusaders score 12 straight points as part of a 15-1 run, 10 from Kamwanga.
"Whenever there were some offensive struggles, we picked things up on the defensive end, then provided offense from our defense," Klazas said. "Our thing today is we wanted to pound the ball inside. We did it with a little hesitation at first and I called a lot of early timeouts to remind them that this is what we need to do."
Saddled by first-half foul trouble, Columbia sophomore Kerry Glover Jr. (10 points) got things going in the second half. His 3-pointer, followed by a Cruz-Molina put back, brought the Tide within 35-29.
However, Catholic ran off the next seven, capped by a Calan Titus trey.
Although back-to-back 3-pointers from Matt McCreary and Poole made it 50-45 with more than three minutes to play, that would be the closest the Tide would get in coach Kerry Glover's. return to the bench following injuries sustained in a car accident.