CYO Crusaders enjoy hot streak
By Michelle Castleman
FORT WAYNE — The St. Therese Crusaders are enjoying a hot streak and a team loaded with talent this season. Last weekend, they had a big 34-20 Blue League victory over the longstanding powerhouses from St. Joseph-Hessen Cassel, Saturday morning, Jan. 16. They also participated in a weekend showcase at Bethlehem Lutheran where they went undefeated and won the title.
Lukas North netted 19 against the Squires and added 14 in the tournament championship over St. Joseph, Decatur, while John Peterson had 18 and Jacob Creager chipped in eight. A pleased Coach Zach Palmer felt that great team defense was big factors in the Hessen Cassel win and his team is showing a lot of heart.
When detailing the tournament championship, Palmer said, “It was a true team effort. Everyone on our team contributed.” This was the Crusaders’ fourth appearance at Bethlehem and first time to win it all.
On Jan. 23, St. Therese improved to 16-2 on the season with another win. This time they got by St. Mary and had seven different players light up the scoreboard.
Palmer summarized, “The unselfishness of our guys has been very impressive all season long and really shined on Saturday. It was fun to watch.”
In girls’ action, the St. Rose-St. Louis Twins picked up a pair of Blue League victories with wins over St. Therese and Queen of Angels. Eighth-grader Abby Sheehan paced her team with 13 over the Crusaders, which included three treys. Morgan Castleman and Meagan Saalfrank had six each. Against the Royals, Sheehan led again with nine and Castleman netted eight. The Twins will square off against St. Joseph-Hessen Cassel for what is sure to be the Blue League regular season title on Saturday morning, Jan. 30, for a 9 a.m. tipoff at St. Rose.
Rivals Saints and Panthers face off in ICCL clash
By Joe Kozinski
MISHAWAKA — The battle cry for the day,“We are so outnumbered there’s only one thing to do. We must attack,” by Sir Andrew Cunningham, resonated for the lone six Panthers of St. Anthony as they faced the daunting task of taking on their formidable rivals, the Saints of Mishawaka Catholic in a classic Inter-City Catholic League clash.
The Saints sported a huge front line with as many as four post players and a roster that doubled the size of their opponent. The Panthers countered with a trio of ball handlers that would make the Harlem Globetrotters green with envy, both in the hunt for the St. Martin DePorres Division crown.
Both teams stuck with traditional Indiana basketball man-to-man defense and were relying on ball pressure and good technique to stall each other’s offensive strengths.
The guards of the Panthers pounced early with key buckets from Phillip Robles and Peter Royeca. Steals followed by converted layups from Tyler DeBoe forced the Saints to immediately make adjustments.
The remedy would come in the form of big numbers 54 and 55, Hunter Renner and Joe Wood, as the talented pair crashed the boards heavy and dropped in a couple of point-blank buckets making the score closer at the end of the quarter, 17-7, in favor of the Saints.
The two big men, with the addition of fellow tower Thomas Egan, countered scores from Robles and Mitchell Florin to reel in the Panthers and their explosive offense just a bit as they headed into the locker room at halftime trailing by just single digits.
The Saints’ Renner came out of the locker room determined and quickly owned the paint and turned the contest into a two-possession game.
As the Saints practiced their Mikan drills, at one time getting five offense rebounds on a trip down the floor, the Panthers again turned up the heat and made shots on the run pushing their purple- and gold-clad foes to the limit.
In the end, Seal Team Six accomplished their objective and were victorious outpacing the Saints, 49-29, as they scored 14 of the last 19 points in the game.
“Mishawaka Catholic is always a tough team to play. We were very conscious of their rebounders and inside play,” explained Nick Dalton, Panther coach. “The heart and soul of our offense; Robles (19), Royeca (15) and DeBoe (9) are not only competitive but they really play with their heads. I’m pretty proud of the whole group.”
“When you play against a well-coached team that shot the ball very well, it makes for a long afternoon,” commented Saint Skipper Greg Schultheis. “I’m proud of our guys. Now we have another four weeks of practice to get prepared for some more of the stronger teams in the league.”
In other action, Corpus Christi remained the only unbeaten team by holding off the Eagles of St. Joseph, 47-42, as the duo of Braden Kaniewski and Derek Derda and their 17 and 13 points respectively bettered the tandem of Tommy Garnett and Brady Gumpf’s double-digit performances.
The Lions and Adam O’Dell of St. Pius X were able to keep the Trojans of Holy Family at arm’s length as they prevailed, 35-30, in a hotly contested game.
Johnny Wang and his Pumas from Queen of Peace nipped Luke Krizman and the Blazers of St. Matthew, 31-24.
The Crusaders of Holy Cross, behind the efforts of Charles Black, jumped on St. Michael despite the dual combination of Nico Beeson and A. Ingalsbe.
St. Thomas’ Charlie Maxwell was not enough to stop the Kings’ Jack Futa and Adam Wozniak as they pumped in 15 and 14 points in a 43-34 victory.
The Bulldogs from Our Lady of Hungary added another win to their total as they beat the Falcons of St. Jude, 39-24.
Find scores, highlights and a complete schedule of the league at www.icclsports.org.
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