2008-02-08 / Sports

St.Francis de Sales CYO Teams Advance To Final Four

The spotlight continued on the St. Francis de Sales girls this weekend as they played for spots in the Queens CYO Final 4.

The Pee Wee Blue faced a tough Gate of Heaven squad with a decided height advantage. The girls battled valiantly, but fell 17-8. Kathryn Gibson led the Blue team with 4 while Gabby Breen added a basket and Lauren Peters two free throws. Brianna Suhr, Brynn Nagle, Rory Kirk and Hayley Henry gave it their all under the boards and Emily Carlton, Justine Twomey and Chelsea Filippi displayed solid ball handling and playmaking. They now look forward to the upcoming Peggy Boyle Tournament.

Their Gold team counterparts needed two wins this weekend to advance, and began with an 11-5 win over St. Margaret as Shannon Rochelle was on fire with 9 points. Lauren Guidarelli added two points but the key was the strong team defense by Johanna Sullivan, Ryan Ward, Allison Tipaldo, Shannon Maroney, Caitlin Drury, Caroline Collins, and Kaitlyn Courtney. It proved to be a warmup for Sunday's match with St. Joseph.

Therese Gallagher scored 4 points, and Jenna McCann and Lauren Guidarelli added 3 each as they pulled out the win, 12-11. Jackie Gallagher teamed with sister Therese in applying the pressure defense that keyed the win. They now move on to the semifinals on February 23.

The Novice team was knotted at halftime with Our Lady of Mt. Carmel but pulled away to win 14-8 on the strength of the play of Erin Klein, Mary Ellen Woods, Emma Knox and Jenna Tipaldo. They also move on to 2/23. The Bantams have hit their stride and became the third St. Francis team to make it to the final weekend as they eased past St. Helen.

The competition will be much stronger from here on in. The Rookies lost another nailbiter with St. Thomas More 26-22, and will now shift their focus to prepare for the Peggy Boyle Tournament. Lynn Rayder played well but the team overall missed too many layups and free throws.

The Intermediates carried the burden of an unbeaten season with them into the weekend. They were up to the task on Saturday but suffered the same fate as the Patriots on Sunday, against strong teams from St. Joachim and St. Anne that will now be favored to take the crown. This remarkable group has had a wonderful CYO career, and will get a final chance to show their stuff in the Peggy Boyle tournament.

The Boys side was relatively quiet. The Bantams finished their regular season unbeaten with a clutch win over OLPH 39-26, followed by a 32-16 victory over St. Rose. Michael Buckley scored 15 in the win over OLPH and Patrick Cashin added 7 while orchestrating the offense, but Dylan Evans was the difference with 10 points off the bench.

The Novices beat St. Thomas More, while the Rookies lost up in Breezy. The Pee Wee Blue won their CYO game 19-6 over Nativity as Ryan Moran scored 7 and Matt DeCrescenzo 6. Kyle Strehle and Thomas Glynn also chipped in on the scoring while Sean Meier excelled on defense.

The Blue team also opened play in the Gate of Heaven tournament, using a 10-0 run in the third quarter to beat St. Pancras 20-15. James McElhatton scored 6 and Johnny O'Connor 4. The Pee Wee Gold also played at Gate and with 30 seconds remaining was tied at 15 with St. Stans. Alex Goldberg then scored 5 of his game high 12 points to close out a 20-15 win. John Boyle added 5 points.

This weekend concludes the CYO regular season and also features a visit from South Windsor and Southington, Connecticut. Games begin at 2:00 on Saturday with the Rookies followed in order by the Intermediates, Bantams, and Novices.

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