St. Benedict claims CYO girls basketball crown
The final and third place contests featured the top four seeds in the tournament, which resulted in two very competitive and spirited games.
In the title game, Our Lady of Lourdes — the top seed and Big East Conference Champion — faced St. Benedict, the second seed and Mission Conference Champion. These two teams met in tournament play during the season, and their respective support bases for each school were well represented in the bleachers that were at full capacity.
The game got off to a fast paced start with St. Benedict taking a slight lead early on which the bruins stretched into a seven-point lead at halftime. But the game became more interesting midway through the second half as Our Lady of Lourdes chipped away at St. Benedict’s lead, tying the game in the final few minutes with an impressive three-point shot.
As time was running down, St. Benedict reclaimed the lead in the final minute. Despite furious defense from Our Lady of Lourdes, the Bruins held on to claim the victory and CYO title.
“This was the most exciting Girls Basketball playoff game I have witnessed at CYO,” said James McGoldrick, CYO director. “The competition, energy and enthusiasm from players and fans were exceptional.” He congratulated the players and coached of both teams for their impressive seasons.
The Third place game was a rematch from the 2013 contest with Nativity of Torrance, the third seed and South Bay Conference champion, pitted against fourth- seeded St. Raphael of Los Angeles, the Big South Conference winner.
“The fact that these two squads made it through the 64-team playoff and reached the Final Four for the second consecutive year is quite an accomplishment,” considering they graduated players,” said McGoldrick.
Nativity took the lead in the first half and maintained it going into the second half. St. Raphael, however, would not quit and eventually tied the score. The teams exchanged baskets late in the game, and regulation ended in a tie to force overtime. Both teams showed determination in the extra period, but Nativity had more gas in their tank and pulled away to earn the victory, 29-25.