The third grade girls from St. Anthony in Tigard
The third grade girls from St. Anthony in Tigard

Saving the best for last did not work out for seventh and eighth grade Catholic Youth Organization basketball teams this winter as the whistle was blown on the championships midway through the final weekend of tournament play. Third through sixth grade tournaments were finalized the prior two weekends and the seventh and eighth graders played through Wednesday of their tournament week before the governor called a halt to school activities through April. 

The CYO office had hoped to reschedule the tournament but as time passed and more information was made available, it became clear that the tournament would not finish in 2020. This would be the first time in memory at CYO/Camp Howard that a tournament was not finished. Lightning, hail, rain and wind arrested a track and field meet several years ago, but the meet was concluded the following week.

“The pandemic of 2020 may have won this round, but we will be back because that is the spirit of the CYO program and the youth who participate,” said Sister Krista von Borstel, the Sister of St. Mary of Oregon who is executive director of CYO/Camp Howard.

Here are results of the CYO City Basketball Championship title games held in March before the coronavirus sports shutdown:

• St. Cecilia and St. Pius X third grade boys went back and forth for four quarters. Near the end of the game, St. Pius X was within 2 points. With 1 second left, St. Cecilia fouled St. Pius resulting in a two-shot attempt for Josiah Thompson. He coolly sunk both, sending the game into overtime. Back and forth play results in a tie with 5 seconds remaining on the overtime clock. Josiah then stole the ball and scored at the buzzer winning the game 43 – 41 for St Pius.

• Third grade girls from St. Anthony and Holy Family went back and forth — shoot, miss, repeat. St. Anthony broke out in the third quarter for a 10-point run against Holy Family’s 2 points.  Both teams scored in the fourth quarter but Holy Family could not match St. Anthony, which won 25-12.

• Among fourth grade boys, St. Cecilia and St. Anthony played a good, fast-paced game showing development of shooting skills on both teams. The game favored St. Anthony 51-32 simply because their shots bounced better and went in the hoop.

• The fourth grade girls from Holy Redeemer and St. Pius X had a close game. With 3:15 remaining in the fourth quarter, St. Pius scored to come within 1. Holy Redeemer scored with 1:22 remaining and added another basket with 44 seconds remaining. With 8 seconds on the clock, Holy Redeemer sunk a charity shot to add another point, making the final score 25 – 19.

• In the fifth grade boys championship game, Valley Catholic turned it on against Holy Redeemer jumping out to a quick lead. The ball handling and shooting skills of the Valiants was exceptional and was a major factor in the final score of the game, 64 – 21 Valley Catholic.

• For fifth grade girls, Christ the King and Valley Catholic were close when the fourth quarter came because of Valley Catholic’s red hot third quarter. But the coaching of veteran T.R. Riehl of Christ the King helped the Milwaukie school pull out a 27-23 win.

• Among sixth grade boys, All Saints was a juggernaut this season, as well as in the title game, which they carried 57-24 over Valley Catholic. Both teams gave all they had. All Saints had a lot of depth and hit their shots. Valley Catholic had a fine fourth quarter but not enough to match the powerful Ramblers.

• St. Pius X and Our Lady of Lourdes met in the sixth grade girls final, with Lourdes holding a halftime lead. But St. Pius got fired up in the third quarter and took the lead for good, winning 31-26.