St. Francis Closes 25th Annual Basketball Tournament
The 25th St. Francis de Sales Christmas Basket - ball Tournament came to a close on the first weekend of the New Year.
Blessed Sacrament of Staten Island defeated St. Rose, 50-44, in Sunday’s final game to take the Intermediate championship. Billy McCafferty scored 14 points and was named MVP. Andrew Bavaro and Shane Daneluzzi were named to the All-Tournament team and Chris Coughlin received the Sportsman - ship Award.
CJ Davis scored 22 for St. Rose and was named Outstanding Player. Wade Neblett and Corey Raw - lins were selected for All Tournament and James Leonard for Sportsmanship.
The championship completed an outstanding run in the tournament for this Blessed Sacrament team. The squad has been very competitive the last few years. Their many battles with St. Francis, including an epic 4-overtime game two years ago, will not be forgotten. Blessed Sacrament won their only match - up this year and St. Francis squandered a 10-point fourth quarter lead against St. Rose, denying them a rematch.
Michael Buckley and Liam Monoghan were selected to the All- Tournament team for St. Francis, while Paul Rayder was named for the Sportsmanship Award. Kevin Crockett and Christian Conlon was selected to the All Tournament for Blessed Trinity, which was eliminated by St. Rose on Saturday. Luke Schreiner received the Sportsmanship Award.
Championship Sunday began with Corpus Christi beating Our Lady of Mount Carmel for the Sub - novice championship. William Lee of Corpus Christi was named the MVP. St. Francis Gold lost on Sat - urday to OLMC. Joe Braskey and Kevin Connelly were All Tournament selection and Jack McDade got the Sportsmanship Award.
For St. Francis Blue, John Baroudas and Jack Casey were All Tournament and Terence Moriarty received Sportsmanship.
In the Pee Wee division championship, nothing went right for St. Francis Blue as St. Helen rolled to the title. Ryan Middlemiss of St. Helen was named the game’s MVP. Griffin Skammel of SFDS Blue was the game’s Outstanding Player. John Moran and Timmy Connolly were chosen to the All-Tournament team and Joe O’Connor was cited for the Sportsman - ship Award.
The Blue beat the Gold in Saturday’s semi-finals. For SFDS Gold, Kenny Dean and Aidan Donohue were selected for All-Tournament honors and Ryan Duffy won the Sportsmanship Award.
Tournament Directors Marty and Keith Andresen once again proved outstanding hosts, but for the first time in many years, found themselves with the spectators for the Novice championship.
St. Patrick made up for an earlier loss to Our Lady of Hope, winning the rematch 42-31. JP Moran was MVP for St. Patrick. Ryan Neuweiler of Hope was Outstanding Player. For St. Francis, Teddy Stathis and Mario Cimino were All- Tournament selections and Kyle Hoffman received the Sportsmanship Award.
The Bantams also lost before the weekend to their nemesis, St. Stanislaus. Alex Goldberg and John Boyle received All-Tournament awards and Ryan Moran the Sportsmanship Award. St. Stan’s then fell in the championship game to Our Lady of the Angelus, 36-28. Hamadou Diallo of OLA was MVP and Joseph DeBenedetto of St. Stan was Outstan - ding Player.
The St. Francis Bantams did return to the winning side when league play resumed, beating St. Thomas Apostle 32-16.
Each Christmas Tournament has its signature moment. This one belongs to St. Francis and Charles Gavigan. An outstanding field was assembled for the Rookie division. Mei-Lyn Bautista of St. Andrew turned many heads and Blessed Sacrament and St. Patrick also proved worthy opponents. But it was clear that St. Francis and St. Vincent Ferrer were on a collision course for a title match.
St. Francis was short handed for the first matchup but still squeezed out a 29-27 win. Their gritty de - fense played a key factor and also the 13 points scored by Bard Featherston.
St. Vincent worked their way back to the championship rematch and held a one point lead at halftime and a 35-31 lead after three periods. From there, St. Francis once again picked up their defense. Feather - ston scored six points in the period. Chris Ray tossed in two key baskets and Anthony Scotto connected on three pressure filled free throws.
With the score tied at 44, St. Francis regained possession with eight seconds remaining. Charles Gav - igan received the inbounds pass and was hounded all the way up the court with his passing lanes denied. Gavigan drove hard to his left and pulled up from 10 feet, shot the ball as it kissed it off the glass as the buzzer sounded to give St. Francis the win and the championship, 46-44.
Gavigan finished with seven points and was named All Tournament along with Ray Marten. Chris Ray scored nine and received the Sportsman - ship Award. Bard Featherston had 12 points and was named MVP. Pedro Salazar was the Outstan - ding Player for St. Vincent. The St. Francis squad, coached by Ronald Whelan and Bobby Baldrian, also includes Augie Ameruso, Thomas Baldrian, Jimmy Howard, Tom Morgan, Garrett Murnan, Matt Prasenski, Connor Ryan and John Whelan.
The special awards ceremony was moved to Saturday this year and below are the recipients.
Third Grade: Joseph Burns Award – Matt McDade; Sister Patricia Award – James Carson; Danny Onorato Award – Timmy Mehta; Mike Andrews Award – Kennedy Kirk
Fourth Grade: Richie Bogart Award – David Hanrahan; Jim McKeon Award – Jack Bambury; Peter McManus Award – Riley Siederman; John Cuneen Award – Griffin Skammel.
Fifth Grade: Dorothy Brenna Award – Michael Sullivan; Chris Lawler Award – Benjamin Edwards; Terry Flynn Sr. Award – Joe Morelli; Marty Andre - sen Award – Dominic Savino; Kathy Lawler Award – James Carlton; Walter Blum Award – Matt Colletta.
Sixth Grade: Msgr. Martin Geraghty Award – Eoin Reen; Eileen Lavin Award – Matt DeCrescenzo; Charlie Heeran Award – Thomas Glynn; Sister Margaret Award – James Corrigan.
Seventh Grade: Michael Glover Award – Augie Ameruso; Rev. Peter Rayder Award – Matt Prasenski; Sean O’Hagan Award – Tommy Baldrian; Richie Allen Award – Anthony Scotto; Walter Hynes Award – Connor Ryan; Chet McNulty Award – John Whelan.
Eighth Grade: Msgr. John Brown Award – Michael Buckley; Joe DeMarco Award – Patrick Cashin; Joe Kenel, Sr. Award – Matthew Corrigan; Keith Goldberg Award – Niall Reen; Teddy Marshall Award – Paul Rayder; Tommy Maher Award – Tommy O’Connor.
SFDS Tournament Directors Marty and Keith Andresen would like to thank everyone for another great tournament, especially John Duggan, Jack Bender, Tom Laczynski, Kenny Smith, Paul Evans, Tim Harkins, Kevin McEachern, Lorraine Agoglia and the Cheerleaders, The Graybeards, The Kitchen Crew, Team Reps and parents, John Boyle, Creative Trophies, Rob Rose, Ralph Wallace, Shelly Plock, all the players, coaches, and officials, Msgr. Brown, Dorothy Brenna, and the rectory staff. Happy New Year and we’ll see you next year.