The St. Jerome Spartans of Westchester, the top seed and PAC Conference champions, won the CYO boys’ basketball championship in the finals held March 9 at St. Paul High School in Santa Fe Springs.
The final four featured teams from all four regions of the CYO demonstrating the depth of talent from schools throughout the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. As expected, both the third place and championship games were exciting and fun to watch.
In the title game, St. Jerome took on the Cathedral Chapel Dire Wolves, Sunset Conference champions. Both schools had impressive runs through the playoff brackets to reach the championship game.
The game got off to a fast start with both schools controlling and moving the ball well. St. Jerome held the lead throughout the first half and took a nine-point margin into halftime.
The second half started similar to the first with quick transitions and aggressive movement to the basket, but St. Jerome maintained its lead. In the final minutes, Cathedral Chapel cut the lead to two points with a furious effort. However, St. Jerome quickly retook control of the game and converted key free throws to extend its lead and come away with the victory as CYO Champions.
Both schools fought hard and the mutual respect was evident in the post-game handshakes.
In the third place game, Our Lady of Fatima’s Chargers of Artesia, the Southland Conference champions, matched up against the St. Benedict Bruins of montebello, the Mission Conference champions. The teams matched up well, but the Chargers maintained the advantage for most of the first half and led into halftime.
In the second half, St. Benedict kept it close with their athletic play and cut into OL Fatima’s lead to tie the game at the final buzzer. Two two-minute overtimes was not enough to determine a winner of this incredibly competitive game. Finally, in the third overtime St. Benedict was able to pull out a two-point victory and claim the third place trophy.
“This event was another wonderful display of sportsmanship and athleticism within CYO Sports,” said James McGoldrick, CYO director. “These were four very competitive squads with plenty of great athletes who will make an impact at the high school level.”