CYO, ICCL squads match up for diocesan championship games
By Joe Kozinski
MISHAWAKA — A journey for six teams that started more than four months ago culminated with the traditional matchups between the top squads from both ends of the diocese as the CYO from Fort Wayne traveled to Marian High School to meet their foes from the Inter-City Catholic League.
The first contest pitted the Crusaders of St. Therese against the host Cougars of Corpus Christi in an affair that would see multiple lead changes between the evenly matched schools.
The Crusaders jumped out to an early lead by having the foursome of John Peterson, Lukas North, Sam Alfaro and Jacob Creager all tallying multiple points in the first quarter and holding the lead by two.
The three ball was the story of the second quarter as the Cougars’ Jared Megyse, Evan Lindzy and Brandan Kanienski all knocked down the long-range shots and turned the game around going into the locker room with a 12-point lead.
The Cougars would prevail by hitting nine of 10 free throws down the stretch to seal the fate of the Crusaders, 54-42.
Corpus Christi was led by its go-to guy, Derek Derda, who had a monster game by scoring 26. The Crusaders’ Peterson and North netted 19 and 10 respectively in the loss.
The next matchup saw the Reds of Most Precious Blood go up against the Panthers of St. Anthony in another highly contested game.
Both teams traded baskets early with the sharp shooting Xavier Allen doing damage from the outside for the visiting Reds, but trailed by four at the end of the first half.
The Panthers came out of the locker room inspired and jumped out with a 20-7 run in the third with defensive pressure followed by a string of fast break layups by Tyler DeBoe and Tobias Patton.
The Reds could only manage four points in the closing quarter as the Panthers closed them out with a 48-27 victory.
The finale saw the pride of Fort Wayne, the Cardinals of St. Charles, take on Christ the King in what should have been a whale of a game, however, the Kings were missing six players due to a conflict in scheduling.
The starters for St. Charles flexed their muscles early and behind Patrick Finley’s nine, jumped all over the Kings and held a 17-1 lead after one.
The bench players of St. Charles added to the lead in the second quarter pushing the score to 26-6 at halftime.
The depleted Kings had no answers for the menacing team from Fort Wayne as they came out of the locker room and dominated play for the first three minutes of the third, doubling their foe’s output and making the margin 28 going into the fourth.
The Kings did find a little life in the final stanza when Riley Mandell hit four three pointers and closed the gap as the final was 49-34, Cardinals.