St. Pius Lions triumph over Corpus Christi Cougars
SOUTH BEND — The hotly contested St. John Bosco Division of the Inter-City Catholic League was to get a bit warmer as two of the top squads matched bucket for bucket, steal for steal and determination vs. determination at Saint Joseph High School to make their way toward the regular season crown.
The Cougars of Corpus Christi had roared to an unblemished mark and had big man Derek Derda patrolling the paint and leading them in scoring, while the Lions of St. Pius X were just a game back and had an even bigger man roaming the lane in seventh-grader Adam O’Dell.
The game started with a bang as the two exchanged buckets. However the first three made by the Lions were triples by Reegan Jackowiak, Michael Baughman and one the hard way by O’Dell pushing the early margin to 9-6.
The Lions continued to surge in the up and down romp by both teams edging out a 17-point first quarter to the Cougars 11.
The second quarter saw Cougars Derda and Braden Kaniewski battle the likes of O’Dell on the inside accompanied by Baughman and Thomas Kurowski fast break layups to keep the score close. But the back breaker was a 15 footer at the horn by Lion Campbell Jones to make the score 28-21 heading into the locker room.
The second half started out all St. Puis X as O’Dell, Jackowiak and a bucket by Luke Leonard more than doubled their lead making it, 37-21, until the Cougars called a timeout to regroup.
The remainder of the third was all Derda for the Cougars and all Baugham for the Lions going into the final stanza up, 43-29.
Most thought “game over,” but no one told the Cougars as Derda, Kaniewski and company clamped down on the defensive end and went on a 13-0 run that included a huge three pointer by Ayden Clark making it, 48-46, with just over a minute to play.
Even though up by two, the momentum was definitely on the side of the Cougars and after a missed Lion shot seemed to spell trouble, the rebound and short jumper by Jackowiak stopped the bleeding and turned the tide.
A couple missed attempts by the Cougars down the stretch and an out-of-bounds layup by Lions, Michael Conery sealed the deal as St. Pius X outlasted Corpus Christi, 52-46, in the high-scoring nailbiter.
The final line had Lions; Baughman, O’Dell and Jackwoiak scoring 18, 12 and 11 respectively and the one-two punch of Derda and Kaniewski dropping in 25 and 16.
“This is the kind of game that makes the ICCL special. Both teams played so hard and that’s exactly what we expected,” explained Lion Coach Mike Padrnos. “They did a good job of taking our big man out of the game, but Baughman is the glue that holds us together and came up big.”
“Our kids could have given up after St. Pius X went up big, but they didn’t. We came together, stood united and left it on the floor, and for that I’m really proud of this team,” remarked Cougar Skipper Shaun Derda. “
In other scores around the league; Jaden Ivy and his 25 points helped the Holy Cross Crusaders upend the Trojans of Holy Family, 54-33.
Panther Philip Robles and Falcon Kaidyn Baker each scored 15, but St. Anthony was victorious over St. Jude, 46-24.
The Mishawaka Catholic Saints behind the 13 of Josh Gill stopped the Blazers of St. Matthew and the 11 of Luke Krizman, 35-28.
Puma Johnny Wang’s 12 points were countered by the 23 Matt White dropped in for the Eagles of St. Joseph as they were triumphant over Queen of Peace, 39-34.
Christ the King romped 45-19 over St. Michael, and St. Thomas won a pair against Our Lady of Hungary and St. Matthew, 30-21 and 34-18.
More league scores, highlights and schedules can be found at www.icclsports.org.
CYO basketball junior varsity team claims title
FORT WAYNE — Coach Justin Allen was pleased to report that with their 64-36 win over St. Aloysius, his boys from Most Precious Blood (MPB) improved to 3-1 in the CYO regular season. Gardner Barile led the attack with a whopping 31 points. Connor Christman contributed a solid double with 14 points and 18 rebounds, while Xavier Allen finished with 12.
For the girls, Dan O’Brien’s Panthers from St. Vincent may struggle with numbers, but have still been able to chalk up some W’s. Against St. John, New Haven on Jan. 17, they started with five players, but one had to leave for another commitment after the tip. Although the Raiders gave them a good fight, the four remaining Panthers hung on to win. Their go-ahead shot with less than a minute put them up, 34-32, for the victory.
On Jan. 23 vs. St. Jude, the Panthers were missing one of their leading scorers and rebounders, but were able to field a full five players the whole game, held St. Jude to two points in the third quarter and topped the Eagles, 32-30.
“Our defense was key to winning this game, despite six turnovers in the final 23 seconds,” an amazed Coach O’Brien exclaimed. He continued, “I know it’s hard to believe a team can turn over the ball that many times in that short of a period, but we did. Fortunately, our defense held.”
In junior varsity action, the St. Rose-St. Louis Twins claimed the 2016 girls’ CYO title for their league.
Coach Melissa Harris’ fifth- and sixth-grade unit downed Most Precious Blood for the championship after getting by St. John the Baptist, Fort Wayne, in their opening round. Caylen Schane led the Twins with 10 points, Lexi Linder had seven and Shelby Schane added six in the championship.
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