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placeholder April 17, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 8    •   Oakland, CA
Summer Camps, Schools & Activities

Eighth Grade AA Championship teams — St. Leander and Assumption.

Eighth Grade A Championship teams — St. Francis of Assisi and Our Lady of the Rosary.

Close games cap CYO Boys Basketball playoffs

The 2017 Boys' CYO Basketball Playoffs featured a multitude of close games coupled with exciting final games and intense Eighth Grade finals.

The annual event for boys' CYO basketball teams in the Oakland diocese featured 63 teams in grades four through eight, divided into two divisions. For the eight returning divisions, there were three back-to-back champions — St. Lawrence O'Toole, Oakland, in the fifth grade "A" division, St. Clement, Hayward in the seventh grade "AA" division and St. Perpetua, Lafayette winning back-to-back-to-back championships in the sixth grade "AA" division. Teams from St. Leo the Great School, Oakland, also won three championships in the fourth, sixth and seventh grades.

The playoffs were dedicated to the five Catholic schools in the Oakland diocese closing at the end of the school year, and three of the schools — St. Lawrence O'Toole, St. Jerome and Our Lady of the Rosary were represented in this year's playoffs. All of the closing schools, including St. Martin de Porres and St. Jarlath, have had a long tradition of CYO participation.

There has been a fun and well-played rivalry over many years between the St. Lawrence O'Toole "Tigers" and the St. Leo the Great "Lions." Both schools responded this year with games in the fourth and sixth grade finals between those two schools. In the "Tigers" vs. "Lions" games, St. Leo the Great won the championship over St Lawrence in the fourth grade, 30-20. In the sixth grade, St. Leo also won, 34-27. However, in the fifth grade championship, St. Lawrence won over Good Shepherd, Pittsburg, 44-28. The "Tigers" left playoffs with a roar!

In the eighth grade "AA" division, St. Leander, San Leandro, captured the championship over defending champion Assumption, San Leandro. Both teams were from the Southern Alameda County (SAC) CYO League, and although St. Leander dominated the league season, they faced stiff competition from Assumption in the final diocesan game. St. Leander led by 27-17 at half time, only to see their lead cut to 5 points in the 4th quarter, led by Assumption's Navi Reed who scored 13 points in the 4th. St. Leander pulled away, winning the diocesan championship 57-50. High scorer for St. Leander was Amen Thompson with 17 points. Navi Reed led Assumption with 23 points.

In the eighth grade "A" division, St. Francis of Assisi, Concord, won its first parish championship in 11 years over Our Lady of the Rosary, Union City, 54-43. Our Lady of the Rosary led at half time, 28 to 17, but guard Benjamin Tellez lit up the court with 25 points in the second half, including three 3-point shots, awarding St. Francis the championship 54-43. Tellez was the high scorer with 27 overall and Makaio Mims scored 24 points for Our Lady of the Rosary.

Championship games and scores in the "AA" division were:
8th grade, St. Leander, San Leandro, d. Assumption, San Leandro, 57-50
7th grade, St. Clement, Hayward, d. St. John Vianney, Walnut Creek, 59-46
6th grade, St. Perpetua, Lafayette, d. St. Mary, Walnut Creek, 47-27
5th grade, St. Clement, Hayward, d. St. Perpetua, Lafayette, 28-19
4th grade, St. Monica, Moraga, d. All Saints, Hayward, 30-29

Championship games and scores in the "A" division were:
8th grade, St. Francis of Assisi, Concord d. Our Lady of the Rosary, Union City, 54-43
7th grade, St. Leo the Great, Oakland d. Corpus Christi, Piedmont, 54-44
6th grade, St. Leo the Great, Oakland, d. St. Lawrence O'Toole, Oakland, 34-27
5th grade, St. Lawrence O'Toole, Oakland, d. Good Shepherd, Pittsburg, 44-28
4th grade, St. Leo the Great, Oakland, d. St. Lawrence O'Toole, Oakland, 30-20

Boys' CYO basketball teams from around the Oakland diocese competed in this 54th annual playoff. The games were played in two weekends in February and March at St. Bede Parish, Hayward, St. Joachim Parish, Hayward, All Saints Parish, Hayward, and St. Elizabeth Parish, Oakland. Top teams from each of the six participating CYO leagues qualified to enter playoffs. Playoffs are divided into two divisions, "A" and "AA", with the "AA" division for the larger leagues and parishes, and the "A" division for smaller leagues or Catholic school programs. There were more than 1,000 teams and 10,000 players competing in CYO basketball this past season.

For complete results of the games or for more information on CYO sports, visit the CYO Website www.oaklandcyo.org.

(Bill Ford is the director of the Catholic Youth Organization in the Diocese of Oakland.)

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