The Saint Vincent’s seventh and eighth grade boys’ travel team recently captured the 2016 CYO Vicariate and State Tournament Championships.
The team won the CYO Vicariate crown on Sunday, Feb. 28, at Saint Agatha’s gym in Milton, when the team defeated Saint Agatha’s in their home gym by six points.
In the CYO state tournament, Saint Vincent’s defeated Saint John’s of Swampscott at Malden Catholic, 46-36. Next up was Saint Mary’s of Winchester. The game was played at Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury, and Saint Vincent’s cruised to a 72-31 victory. On Sunday, March 20, the championship game was held at Catholic Memorial. Saint Vincent’s eked out a hard fought 80-76 victory in double overtime against Saint Leonard’s of the North End.
This was the third Vicariate and second state title for this team in recent history.
The team subsequently competed in the New England CYO Tournament in Stratford, Conn. on April 2 and 3. In the opening round, the team defeated Saint John’s of Norwich, Conn., in overtime, 48-43. Saint Vincent’s fell behind early in the game, but battled back to realize a 20-17 lead at the half. With less than a minute to play, Saint Vincent’s trailed by four points. Then Deijon Resende took over. He tied the game with two made free throws and a basket forcing the game into OT. He opened up the overtime period with a deep three pointer and made four more free throws to seal the game. He finished with 21 points, was 10 for 13 from the free throw line, and had double-digit rebounds. Unfortunately the team lost to Saint Pius X of Manchester, N.H., in the semi-finals.
“Saint Vincent’s only had eight players available,” said former local hoop coach, Joe Kelly, who took the long ride to Connecticut to watch the local kids play. “They won the opening game in OT in thrilling fashion but eventually lost in the second round. They represented their parish and the community with pride.”
Saint Vincent’s coach Billy Allen reinforced that sentiment and is indeed proud of everything his team accomplished this season.
“I took over this season after Joey Curran coached them for more than several years,” Allen said. “They had a goal to win the CYO Vicariate and State titles and play in the New England tournament. And they accomplished their goals. They’ve gone further than any other Saint’s Vincent’s team has ever gone in the CYO circuit and they’re proud of that. Saint Vincent’s’ coaches and the staff at the Condon Community Center are happy for these kids.
“My proudest moment came in the New England tournament game in which we lost,” he said. “We were shorthanded due to injuries but the whole team played well. The kids were disappointed but not angry. They supported each other and didn’t play the blame game. It was a great sign of maturity for kids of their age.”