2002-04-06 / Sports

St. Francis Falls Short In Sectional Championship

St. Francis Falls Short In Sectional Championship

The St. Francis DeSales 5th Grade Boys CYO basketball team fell one game short of reaching the Brooklyn/Queens championship, losing a heartbreaker to Corpus Christi by a three-point margin. St. Francis had met Corpus Christi twice in tournament play during the season, splitting the two games. Corpus Christi went on to win it all.

St. Francis, led by the dynamic scoring duo of Michael and Matthew Knott, ended the 2002 season with an impressive record of 19 wins against just 4 losses. Point guard Tommy Ryan led the team in assists, Ken Smith, Eric Maxfield, and Nick Mastros played tough defense and contributed many timely baskets. Neil "deadeye" Howard hit important three pointers throughout the year. Matt Alessi led the attack under the boards and was the team leader in rebounds.

The depth of the team enabled them to reach the semis. Connor O’ Grady, Sean Kirby, and Matt Ellis were outstanding when called upon. Their strong defense and ability to spark rallies was uncanny. All were ready, willing and able when called upon.

According to Head Coach Tom Lee, whom has served as the 5th grade coach for over 15 years, this was one of the finest teams that he has coached. The boys were eager to learn and showed constant improvement throughout the long season. They proved that while winning is nice, it is more important to have some fun while learning the game of basketball. Mr. Lee, along with his able assistant Ken Smith, taught them these lessons well.

"Wait till next year" and "thank you Mr. Lee and Mr. Smith" was the departing words that the team was overheard saying at the end of a very enjoyable and successful season.

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