ICCL divisions square off in hoop competition
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY — The unseasonably warm February temperatures helped keep the atmosphere warmer than normal for the hoopsters of the Inter-City Catholic League (ICCL). Mishawaka Marian and Saint Joseph high schools hosted a slate of basketball games that could very well help decide division champions in the coming weeks. The top two teams in the Martin De Porres Division would square off, while in the John Bosco Division a four-way tie for first could potentially end with only one team sitting as the king of the hill.
In the biggest game of the day in all the ICCL at Mishawaka Marian, the St. Anthony Panthers squared off with St. Thomas the Apostle, Elkhart, in a game that would break a tie for first place in the Martin De Porres Division. Both teams started off hot, most specifically Aaron Fuller of the Spartans and Phillip Robles of the Panthers of St. Anthony. The maroon-and-gold clad Panthers were paced by Robles’13-point first half, which led them to a 23-20 first-half lead. Fuller kept the Spartans in the game by throwing in nine of his own first-half points. The Panthers pulled away in the third quarter behind the scoring of Peter Royeca and a big three pointer by Tyler DeBoe. St. Thomas fought till the very end but came up a bit short as the Panthers closed out the game and captured sole possession of first place in the De Porres Division. The final score was 44-38. The Panthers were led by Robles who finished with a game high 19 points, while Royeca threw in 15 points of his own. Fuller chipped in 15 points for the Spartans in the losing effort.
The St. Thomas and St. Anthony game was not the only game that was tense at Marian on Sunday. The day’s first game saw the Pumas of Queen of Peace battle the Saints of Mishawaka Catholic. The winner of this game could maneuver themselves toward the top of the De Porres Division. In a shootout of a game, the purple and gold of Mishawaka Catholic prevailed behind the hot shooting of Hunter Renner. Renner led the Saints with 25 points. Renner was not the only player lighting up the scoreboard as Johnny Wang of the Pumas netted a game high 27.
In the final games at Marian, the Bulldogs of Our Lady of Hungary got their record closer to .500 with a victory over the upstart St. Michael Crusaders. The final score was 43-27. Meanwhile the orange-and-black Blazers of St. Matthew took down the St. Jude Falcons with a final score of 45-20.
While the action at Marian High School was thrilling, the games at Saint Joseph High School did not disappoint either. The first game of the day saw a matchup with two of the four teams that were tied atop the John Bosco Division, the Holy Cross Crusaders and the Cougars of Corpus Christi. This game was another shootout as both teams scored early and often. However, the Cougars were triumphant in the end as they outscored the Crusaders, 60-51.
The Cougars were led by Derek Derda’s 21 points. The Crusader effort was led by huge games by Charles Black, who threw in a game high 22 points, while Jaden Ivy chipped in 21.
In the day’s second game, the Trojans of Holy Family looked to position themselves for a late-season run by knocking off the first-place Christ the King Kings. Latrell Franklin of the Trojans tried to will his team to victory by throwing in 10 points, however it was not enough to take down the Kings. Adam Wozniak netted a game high 23 points for the Kings, while Patrick Driscoll scored another 11 to pace the Kings 48-34 victory.
The St. Joseph Eagles came into the day in the middle of the pack in the Bosco Division and with a victory over the first place Lions of St. Pius, they could move closer to first place. Tommy Garnett scored 12 points for the Eagles, but unfortunately it was not enough for the Eagle fateful as they fell to the Lions and Michael Baughman’s game high 13 points in a grind it out kind of game for St. Pius. The final score saw the Lions squeak out a victory, 33-32.
Action in the ICCL continues next weekend as teams position themselves for the postseason tournament. The schedule begins with games slated to be played at Mishawaka Marian and Saint Joseph high schools’ gyms.
CYO girls’ teams gear up for tournaments
FORT WAYNE — In their final weeks of the regular season, girls’ varsity teams geared up for the 2016 CYO tournament, which kicked off the week of Feb. 8.
St. Joseph-Hessen Cassel kept their record perfect in the Blue League and claimed the top seed with their 37-17 win over St. Rose-St. Louis. Alivia Beard and Jelana Girod led the Squires with 10 points each, while Liz Rauner added eight. In the loss, Audrey Renninger paced the Twins with six.
In the Gold League, a pleased Coach Christine Nix reported that the Lady Eagles from St. Jude topped St. Charles, 29-17. “This is the first time we have beaten them in four years,” Nix explained.
“It was a great team effort,” she added. Delaney Hogan had 10 points for St. Jude and Carrissa Wiegman chipped in nine in the victory. The No. 3 seed Eagles (3-2) hope to carry their momentum into the tournament where they will open with St. John the Baptist, New Haven.
In boys’ action, Most Precious Blood picked up two conference wins beating St. Mary, 45-25, and St. Joseph-Hessen Cassel, 53-43. In the St. Mary win, Gardner Barile had 17 points and Connor Christman had a “double double” with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Against the Squires, Barile and Christman combined for 40 points. Christman also had 18 rebounds and six assists, while Xavier Allen added nine points and four assists. Coach Justin Allen detailed, “It was a hard-fought game. It felt like we only won by a bucket or two. Hessen Cassel is well coached and very tough.” PB finished second (5-1) in the Blue League and will face Queen of Angels in their first round of tournament play, which begins Sunday, Feb. 14.
In the small school boys’ junior varsity tournament hosted by St. Therese, Coach Mike Hoffman reported that his St. Rose-St. Louis fifth-and-sixth-grade Twins were crowned champions on Friday night, Feb. 5, at St. Aloysius.
Hoffman detailed, “It was a great ending to a wonderful season.” The Twins defeated Queen of Angels in their opening round then downed a very confident and athletic squad from Most Precious Blood in the second round. For the championship, St. Rose-St. Louis was pitted against a young, determined fifth-grade squad from St. Joseph-Hessen Cassel.
Breaking down his opponent, Hoffman said, “I was so impressed by the Hessen Cassel team. As you can imagine, it was competitive from start to finish. Those boys are fantastic young players and very respectful. They are going to be a very, very good team and their coaches Amy Knapke and Joyce Dodane have done an outstanding job teaching and being leaders for those boys.”
The Twins finished with an impressive 24-3 overall record that included two other tournament wins at Bethlehem Lutheran and the Heritage Feeder tournament. Hoffman summarized, “Our boys had goals at the beginning of the season and worked so hard from day one to achieve them. This team was so unselfish and driven while keeping Christ first in everything they did.” Members of the championship team included Joe Reidy, Beau Jacquay, Christian Hoffman, Elliott Castle, Grant Castleman, Ethan Hoffman, Cade Hetler, Owen Van Horn, Zak Shannon, Bryce Barker and Ian Matter. Hoffman was assisted by his brother, Steve.
Aspiring musicians invited to USF Marching Pride Band Day
FORT WAYNE — The University of Saint Francis invites student musicians to participate in USF Marching Pride Band Day on Saturday, Feb. 13. The day begins at 10 a.m. with a meet-and-greet where students and parents can meet current USF Marching Pride band members in the USF North Campus gymnasium, 2702 Spring St.
During the band’s rehearsal, teachers and parents will have an opportunity to speak with Rick Cartwright, dean of the School of Creative Arts, and lunch will be provided by the University of Saint Francis. After lunch, participants are invited to Hutzell Athletic Center to support the USF women’s basketball team as they take on Taylor University at 1 p.m. Following the game, there will also be opportunities for students to audition for available USF marching band talent scholarships.
Those interested in participating in this event can contact Band Director Steven Kandow at 260-399-7700, ext. 8024 or firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the student’s name and current school.
The remaining USF marching band audition dates are as follows: Friday, Feb. 12; Friday, March 4; and Friday, May 13.
To schedule an audition on these dates call 260-399-8064.
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