KJ Jospin (20) inches above Griffin Davis (51) for the jump ball. (Courtesy CYO)
KJ Jospin (20) inches above Griffin Davis (51) for the jump ball. (Courtesy CYO)
The Catholic Youth Organization high school basketball program finished with the City Championships Feb. 17.  

Around 400 teens made up 40 teams with the help of 75 volunteer coaches. Games started in December with no weather-related cancellations until February.

The first weekend of City Championships for the junior/senior division was snowed out. CYO officials revised the schedule so the older kids could play during the final weekend along with the freshman/sophomore tournament.

Highlights included a new team with a representation of students from Central Catholic, Jesuit and Lake Oswego high schools coached by Mark Cooper and Ian Heimbegner. The coaches were open to taking a few kids looking for an opportunity to play and ended up with this combination team, which took the title.

Teams like this represent how kids from different schools can have a great time playing together.

Participants in the high school basketball program are not required to be Catholic.

This year, kids from Central Catholic, Jesuit, La Salle Prep, St. Francis in Roy, St. Mary’s Academy, Valley Catholic, Banks, Beaverton, Cleveland, Forest Grove, Franklin, Grant, Lake Oswego, Lincoln, Madison, Mountainside, Mountain View, Sunset and Westview high schools participated.  

The freshman/sophomore boys division saw the Cooper/Heimbegner team beat the Darren Beene/Joseph Fricke team.  

In the junior/senior boys division championship game, a La Salle Prep team, coached by Joe Cortese and Jim Mears, made it to the finals for the first time in at least six years.

The La Salle team placed second to Central Catholic, coached by Richard Callahan and Marci Miller-Smith.

The girls’ division had a good season playing and getting more experience.

Unfortunately, there were not enough teams able to participate in the championships.

Games were played at Jesuit High School, Eastmoreland Courts, Oregon Episcopal School and The Hoop.

Next year, the University of Portland may be on the list of venues.

Abraham Phanton is communications director for CYO/Camp Howard.