St. Francis Celebrates Basketball And Christmas Cheer
The 21st edition of the St. Francis Christmas Basketball Tournament was once again, a great success. 36 teams from Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Long Island competed for titles in 6 divisions. Aside from the excellent competition, the Christmas Tournament provides a place to go for kids and parents alike during the holiday vacation. There is plenty of food and drink available, lots of holiday music, and fun time to spend with friends and family in between getting shopping done. A performance by the Cheerleaders was also included.
The tournament kicked off on Friday December 16 and concluded with three championship games on Thursday December 29 and three more on Friday December 30. Along the way there were many memorable games. Here are the highlights by division.
Coach Tommy Morgan’s St. Francis Blue squad captured the Subnovice championship with a thrilling 15-11 win over Nativity. Tournament MVP Jimmy Howard scored the final two baskets that sealed the win for St. Francis. Chris Ray and Kevin McDonagh were named to the All-Tournament team. Michael Newman received the Sportsmanship award. Bobby Baldrian’s Gold team also fared well but was knocked out by Nativity. All tournament selections were. Sportsmanship went to.
In the PeeWee division, St. Francis Gold rallied but could not overcome an early 9-2 hole against Blessed Sacrament as the Staten Island squad won the championship 21-16. Shane Danaluzzi of Blessed Sacrament was voted MVP. For St. Francis Gold, Peter Cashin received Outstanding Player, Michael Buckley and Owen McVeigh made All-Tournament, and Nicholas Tsatsis was the Sportsmanship honoree. St. Francis Blue competed well but was knocked out by the Gold. All Tournament choices were. They received the Sportsmanship award.
The Novice division included many close games and was probably the most spirited of the tournament. St. Francis won handily against St. Helen’s the first time out but the Championship game was a real battle and St. Helen’s gave all they could before St. Francis triumphed 29-25. Charlie Marquardt was named MVP. Ryan McDade and Jimmy Wolfer garnered All-Tournament with Jack Hurley also worthy. Patrick Goldberg received the Sportsmanship trophy.
St. Francis also took the Bantam title with a hard fought 33-28 win over St. Margaret’s. Ryan Meade claimed MVP honors, leading a 3 rd quarter spurt that catapulted St. Francis into the lead and control of the game. Eugene Boggiano and Danny Donohue snared All-Tournament, and Conor Gallagher was awarded the Sportsmanship trophy.
The Rookie division featured 8 strong teams from around the city. Trailing throughout the game, St. Joseph/St. Thomas of Staten Island roared past Our Lady of Grace of Brooklyn at the beginning of the 4th quarter and rolled to a 39-30 win for the championship. Alex Civitano led the way and was named MVP. St. Francis did not make it to the championship but Pat Butera and James Mercer were All-Tournament and Stephen Pulkoski received the Sportsmanship Award.
The story was similar in the Intermediate division. St. Francis entered anxious to stake its claim on the heels of solid play heading into the tournament. But it was not to be. St. Adalbert’s continued their stranglehold on this division with a dominating win over Our Lady of Grace 38-27. Steven Arcila was MVP. For St. Francis, Tom Tsatsis was the Sportsmanship winner, while Sean Towey and Vincent Esposito were All-Tournament.
There are also special Sportsmanship Awards given to players on St. Francis for their play during the entire year.
This year’s recipients are:
Subnovice: Rev. Louis DeGaetano Award-Thomas Baldrian, Danny Onorato and Jake Hollander.
Sister Patricia Award- George Baroudas, Michael Andrews and Michael Barna.
PeeWee: Peter McManus Award- Eamonn Gavigan, Richie Bogart, Kevin Kenna, John Cuneen, Ryan Schonfeld, Jim McKeonand Conor McHale.
Novice: Chris Lawler Award-Ryan Kilgallen, Jack Collins, Sean Morgan, Marty Andresen, Kevin Magee, Kathy Lawler and Sean Gigliello.
Bantam: Msgr. Geraghty Award-Liam Ryan, Charlie Heeran and Kevin Ellis.
Sister Margaret Award- Joseph B arna Walter Blum andChris Tsatsis.
Rookie: Sean O’Hagan Award- Andrew Schultz, Richie Allen, Joe Wolfer, Walter Hynes, Stephen Kelly, Chet McNultyand James Goldberg.
Intermediate: Joe DeMarco Award- Brian King, Joe Kenel, Edward Watt, Keith Goldberg, Johnny Duggan, Teddy Marshalland Mike Carnacchio.
Subnovice Gold: All Tournament Award John Whelan and Jordan Asbury.
Sportsmanship Award-Michael Tammaro.
PeeWee Blue: All Tournament Award- Thomas Clark and Dylan Evans.
Sportsmanship Award-Mike Castellano.
Tournament Director Marty Andresen is to be commended for an outstanding tournament. Special thanks to Keith Andresen and John Duggan who handled the announcing chores and most of the details. Jim Morley once again handled the difficult chore of scheduling. Keith Goldberg, Jim McKeon, and Father Lou provided coordination and support.
Kudos go to the Graybeards who staffed the scorer’s table along with Tom Laczynski, Jim Morley and... Jack Bender produced the programs while also aiding at the scorer’s table and wherever needed. Thanks to our team reps and volunteers, kitchen crew and cleanup crew and thanks to our players and coaches for their outstanding efforts.