As of Tuesday, Jan. 22, all CYO teams have played six games, marking the midpoint of the 2019 CYO regular season. The competition, talent, and entertainment in the league has exceeded expectations so far.
Cathedral Prep senior Dusty Burch shared his experiences at various CYO games. “Many of the games are very interesting, and there is something unique about the league,” he said. “One game you could spectate may be one of the most intense back and forth battles of basketball you can see. Another game that same night could be filled with laughs and a lighthearted attitude. CYO basketball games reflect the many aspects of basketball, which make the sport amazing for spectators.”
(As a note, this article is not another set of predictions, but rather a brief summary of how the teams have performed so far. )
7. Saint James (0-6)
Saint James is not having the start they would have hoped for. In their matchups, their top-down organization and focus has been trumped by the greater degrees of skill and athleticism of opponents. Regardless, they continually put up a fight game after game, displaying how facing this unit is never an easy win. The Panthers have failed to put up a tally under the “wins” column, making them even more eager to snatch an elusive first win.
6. Blessed Sacrament (2-4)
Being predicted to be the third best team in the league, Blessed Sacrament’s record shows they are underperforming thus far. They have been plagued by inconsistency this season. The Bulldogs managed to steal a game from the talented Our Lady of Peace squad on the road. Despite this, Blessed Sacrament ended up losing to many of the predicted lower ranked teams such as Saint Peter, Saint George, and Saint Luke. This team has the tools to be a threat in the league, but simply needs to play to their best ability on a consistent basis.
5. Saint Luke (2-4)
Saint Luke has certainly fell from their predicted rank of being the second best team in the league. As predicted, their minimal basketball experience and organization took a toll on their performance; however, the magnitude of this downfall came to outweigh their physical ability. They are still a dangerous team because of their skillful offensive options and overall athleticism. It is simply a matter of finding an effective game plan and utilizing their basketball IQ night after night.
4. Saint George (3-3)
Saint George’s story has a narrative opposite to that of Saint Luke’s. They have a wide variety of players to have out on the floor, many of which have a significant amount of experience under their belt. Their downfall lies within how they do not have an overwhelming amount of overall skill or athleticism to possess one of the deadliest lineups in the league. Also, they struggle with properly incorporating players and balancing rotations in games, causing them to be at a strategical disadvantage at times.
3. Saint Peter (4-2)
Saint Peter has managed to surprise the league in these first six games of the season, or as their players call it, “shock the nation.” The Dukes have been able to snatch games from opponents who start the game flat-footed or underestimate them. The morale and assorted snacks offered by their coaches have proved to be an asset in their success. This Saint Peter team is a team who certainly knows how to combine having fun and working for wins, and has found success combining the two.
2. Our Lady of Peace (4-2)
Our Lady of Peace has largely fulfilled predictions made before the season started. Their dynamic offense and willingness to play intense defensive makes them more than a good team. In their two losses, they were not blown out, the games have been thrilling and go down to the wire. For example, their loss against Saint Jude was only by two points, which was a game decided with only seconds left in the fourth quarter. This is a team that is ready to continue to play hard, especially against the teams they want revenge on.
1. Saint Jude (6-0)
The Jude’s Dudes have certainly enjoyed the first six games the season. Despite nearly not having a team, they finished all responsibilities necessary to be cleared to play and are certainly making the most of their season. The Dudes have been packing gymnasiums all around the diocese of Erie (except at Saint James of course). Saint Jude has been electric with their play and has had no shortage of entertainment. While Saint Jude may seem to be the favorites for the title, anything can happen in this league. The Dudes understand they still have a lot of work to do and still consider themselves the underdogs, keeping their same preseason mentality. Anything can happen in this volatile league, so keep paying attention to how the regular season continues to develop.