Catholic Youth Ministry recently held its championship games for varsity boys basketball in four divisions at Salesianum School. Basketball is the agency’s largest sport in terms of number of participants. All information was submitted by the CYM office.
Two longtime rivals, St. Edmond’s No. 1 and St. John the Beloved No. 1, met at Salesianum on Feb. 23. The Lancers came in at 9-1, while the Eagles were undefeated at 10-0. After a close first quarter, St. Edmond’s took a double-digit lead in the second and third quarter. St. John the Beloved closed the gap to single digits by the end of the third, but the Lancers pulled away in the final quarter for the 65-50 victory.
St. Edmond’s was led by Azir Ellegood with 17 points, Jaire Stewart with 15, Elijah Harmon with 13, and Blake Kelly and Anthony Smith with 10 each. Max Batten had 15 points for the Eagles, while Luke Podolak added 14.
After enduring a winless regular season (0-10), St. Mary of the Assumption got hot when it counted, defeating Christ the Teacher No. 1, 52-50, in the C2 Division championship game. Both teams worked their way through the loser’s bracket in the tournament to reach the final.
St. Mary’s had a 29-20 halftime lead and was in control most of the game. Anthony Padilla led the way with 13 points, with Jack Naylor adding 12, and Ryan Coyne and Gavin Sauder each had 10. Christ the Teacher fought back to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, but they were unable to overcome St. Mary’s.
Christ the Teacher got 15 points from Justin Diodato, 13 from Matthew Shelly, and 12 from Shane Klapinsky.
St. Mary Magdalen No. 2, who reached the title game after a semifinal win over top-seeded Immaculate Heart of Mary No. 3, closed out the campaign with a 39-32 win over St. John the Beloved No. 2.
The long-distance shooting of Matthew McKenzie helped the Bulldogs get out to an early lead. McKenzie was three for three from beyond the arc in the first half on his way to 13 points before intermission. The Eagles played relentless full-court pressure defense, and Josh Huffman hit a pair of three-pointers to close the gap by the half.
St. Mary Magdalen went to the hot hand of Isaiah Rice in the third. He scored 10 points in the quarter to help the Bulldogs build a 31-24 lead going into the fourth. They did not let the Eagles to get too close in the fourth to secure the win.
Rice led all scorers with 16, with McKenzie adding 15. Huffman led St. John the Beloved with 15.
St. John the Beloved No. 3, the top seed heading into the postseason, took care of business against St. Peter the Apostle with a 33-18 win for the crown. St. Peter’s, the sixth seed, jumped out to an early lead, and that held at halftime by a 10-6 score.
After the teams began the second half by exchanging baskets, the Eagles went to a full-court press and fought back to tie. They ended the game on a 19-1 run for the win.