This year’s CYO basketball regular season has been one for the ages with upsets, injuries, game winning shots, and all of the technical fouls. Everyone is excited to see what the playoffs have in store for the fans. With the regular season coming to an end the top six teams who have made the playoffs are in order as follows.
- St. George (12-2)
- OLP (11-3)
- St. Jude/OLC (10-4)
- Mt. Carmel (8-6)
- St. Luke (5-9)
- Blessed Sacrament (4-10)
Mount Carmel Red Raiders vs. Saint Luke Crusaders
There was a bittersweet change in scheduling for one of the two first round playoff games. Because of the Prep-McDowell game scheduled for Tuesday, Mt. Carmel and St. Luke faced off on the far east side of the city of Erie on Monday night. Mt. Carmel was a surprise team this year. They were not predicted to be one of the top four teams, but with the big upset against St. George midway through the season they proved they were a serious team. The Red Raiders needed to count on Hunter Neimeic and Noah Vroman, who was the most underrated player of the year.
The Saint Luke Crusaders’ star players through a real rough season were Joe DePalma and Billy Snyder. Both are three point specialists, who also took down Saint George this year with their 20-point nights. In the first three quarters of the game the Red Raiders and Crusaders were going back and forth and neither could get away from the other. Once the fourth quarter started though the Crusaders could not seem to bury any baskets even with Hunter Niemic fouling out with six minutes left. The Red Raiders fought off the Crusaders in a tough game where frustration got the best of Saint Luke’s team. Mt. Carmel will move on to play at top-seeded St. George Thursday night.
OLC Raiders vs. Blessed Sacrament Bulldogs
With the change in scheduling the Raiders will take on the Bulldogs at 8:30 p.m. this Wednesday night at the Our Lady’s Christian School gym. OLC is the favorite in tonight’s game against Blessed Sacrament. The Raiders came off a shocking and unhappy regular season with four losses, two to St. George, one to OLP, and one to St. Luke’s. The Raiders actually ended on a three game losing streak which they look to snap and start their road to the playoff championship behind the number one player in CYO, Jordan Sauers.
One thing that the Raiders lack though is a true “elbows-out, flying everywhere big man”. OLC runs a small line up because they focus on fast breaks and three point shooting. As long as Ryan Podaful, Jack Kloecker, and Tony Chiarelli keep the ball moving and taking good shots OLC will be moving to the second round, where they will face their arch rival OLP.
On the other half of the court the Bulldogs are an all-around team that can do all things from shoot the three, get physical in the paint, and play solid defense. BS has had a very rough time this season with countless injuries to their two star guards Sean Reed and Francis Kloecker. In their absences though McDowell student Anthony Achillie kept the team above .500 with his talent and his luscious long hair, don’t care attitude. The Bulldogs put up a great fight in the first matchup where the game went into OT, but the Raiders came out victorious. There is light at the end of the tunnel though, because Sean Reed has made a remarkable recovery, thanks to Hertel and Brown Physical Therapy, after dislocating his kneecap slipping on a rug. If the Bulldogs can keep the Raiders from shooting the three and the turnovers to a minimum they have a great chance at taking down the preseason favorites.
As far as I know and what I have witnessed the from both teams. The Raiders will prove to out match the Bulldogs in a blowout win because OLC is looking for revenge against OLP for taking their second seed spot. The winner of Wednesday’s OLC-BS showdown meets OLP at OLP on Thursday.