Men's Open A Summer Basketball Highlight
The Men's Open championship provided another summer highlight this past Thursday. The title was contested by the veteran stalwarts Belle Harbor Steakhouse, and their more youthful counterparts from Caiazzo Plumbing. The game began inauspiciously with numerous turnovers as each team was feeling the other out. The game settled into a groove as the Steakhouse continually went to big man Paul Peterson, while Caiazzo countered with the sibling duo of Shane and Cody Gauvard. The Steakhouse took a 30-28 lead into the break.
The veterans continued to ride their horse, and with Kevin Fitzgerald guiding the attack, opened up a 13 point cushion. Caiazzo was in danger of losing their composure and their chance at winning the game. Instead, Sal DeMarco and Kenny Kelly stepped up and augmented the contributions of the Gauvard brothers (successors to the famous Kessler brothers). The youngsters came all the way back and claimed the lead. Belle Harbor Steakhouse had one final possession and put the ball in the hands of Fitzgerald, who went the length of the court in just over four seconds and nailed the running bank shot to force overtime.
In the extra session, the lead continued to change hands until Cody Gauvard's free throw put Caiazzo up by one with under a minute. When the Steakhouse failed to score on the next possession and Caiazzo upped the lead to three, it looked like a foul shooting contest would ensue. Miraculously, the Steakhouse rose from the dead again, setting up the final drama. With Caiazzo holding for the last shot, the Steakhouse defense focused on the obvious suspects. Richie George then escaped under the basket, received the pass, and converted the basket to give Caiazzo the win and the championship as the Steakhouse could not convert a final attempt.
Both teams fought valiantly but the rewards and bragging rights went to Caiazzo. The championship team is Joe Caiazzo, Sal DeMarco, Richie George, Chris McGuinness, Bobby Timmons, Kenny Kelly, Cody Gauvard and Shane Gauvard.
In the Woman's Open A, Erin White became the unlikely champions, knocking off the previously undefeated Hot Mommas. The Women's Open B championship has been postponed due to personal conflicts. The Girls High School division has just completed its third week with semifinals scheduled for Monday at 7:00 and 8:15 and the championship scheduled for Wednesday at 7:00. Don't miss the conclusion of the 2009 St. Francis Summer Classic.