The eighth-grade boys Spirit basketball team at St. Bernard's Catholic School finished its season with the team's fourth consecutive Stockton Catholic Youth Organization championship trophy after Spirit’s 62-53 win in overtime over St. Anne’s of Lodi on Sunday at St. Mary's High School in Stockton.
Coach Chris Lomas said the end of the tournament was an emotional time for the boys, who played their last game together after five years of CYO basketball.
“They learned how to win together. They’ve come a long way,” Lomas said.
He noted that the team’s 16-2 record this year made its five-year record 103-5 and said that the championship game was exemplary of how the boys trust each other.
Lomas said Robert Chao led the way for the St. Bernard's team in the first half with his 3-point shots. St. Anne’s led 28-27 at the half, and Magoo Mendonca led the St. Bernard’s team in the back-and-forth second half. The game was tied 51-51 with 1 minute, 12 seconds left.
“I felt like the kids could get a steal at the end of the game,” Lomas said.
Drew Reddick came through with the steal and the score, but St. Anne’s made a shot with 30 seconds left that put the game into overtime. St. Bernard’s then charged out to a 62-53 lead and held St. Anne’s scoreless in overtime, sealing the win.
“After playing together for five years straight, I knew if we got into overtime, we would play better,” Lomas said.
St. Bernard’s won its semifinal game 61-48 on Saturday against Presentation of Stockton at St. Anne’s Church in Lodi. Center Kris Reyes injured his ankle during the halftime warm-ups and his brother, Korey Reyes, took his place for the rest of the weekend. Miles Turner was St. Bernard's leading scorer Saturday with 29 points, and Joseph Lomas hit his outside shots to help overcome Presentation's early lead.
Spirit teams play in the upper tier of CYO basketball, which also includes a lower-tier “Trinity” league. Coach Lomas said that this was also a big year for the St. Bernard’s Trinity team, which went 14-0 and won its league title.
St. Bernard's Trinity players are Jacob Febre, Brandon Gee, Sergio Ramirez, Jack Traut, Allen Njamfa, Alex Asuncion, Ricky Ochoa and James Patterson.
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or email@example.com.