One powerhouse collided with another on Wednesday when Saint George took on Saint Jude’s in a CYO basketball game that was much anticipated by the fans. Saint Jude’s came into this game undefeated and Saint George was 4-1. This game was important because it would determine the number one seed in the league. This was also the midway point of the season and would give the victor momentum moving toward a playoff run.
Senior St. George guard Luke Misko had this to say before the game:
“It should be a tightly contested matchup between the two best teams in the league. Coming off a surprising loss that ended our undefeated hopes, the Lancers are out looking for blood in the form of spoiling the Dudes’ perfect season thus far. Meanwhile, the Dudes are looking to defend their dirt at home and send a statement to the rest of the league, asserting their dominance as the best team by far with a victory. It should be an exciting back and forth game with plenty of local faces in the crowd there to support both sides. This has been dubbed ‘The Game of the Year’ by many of the players. We will see if it lives up to the hype.”
Freshman St. Jude guard Frankie Riley had this to say about the Dudes mindset before the game:
“This is a big game with some big competition, and the best team will come out victorious in the end.”
The first half of the game was all St. Jude’s as they were up 32-20 over the Lancers of St. George. Dylan Minnick had it going early for the Dudes, draining three first half 3-pointers. The Lancers, however, were dominating inside when they were able to get there against the Dudes’ tough 2-3 zone.
The second half made for a wild finish. A few mental lapses from the Dudes led to St. George bringing it back, and even taking a 1-point lead early in the 4th quarter. Joe Bucci caught fire in the second half, where he had all 19 of his points, draining five 3s in the process. Crucial responses from 3 from Tyler Darden and Collin Johnson kept the Dudes up top in the end, winning the game by 5 with a final score of 60-55.
Joe Bucci led the Lancers with 19, and Justin Corsale pitched in 11 as well. Tyler Darden led the Dudes with 20, along with big performances from Dylan Minnick and Charlie Raimondi, who had a 3-point buzzer beater at the end of the first half to keep the momentum going.
Varsity basketball star Quentin Santillan was a spectator at the game and had some thoughts about the outcome.
“I thought the better team won,” Q said. “I thought St. George had a better shot with the illness of Evan Rowane, but St. Jude’s 2-3 zone was too much for the streaky Lancer shooting. St. Jude came out hot, but it came down to the wire due to mental errors from the Dudes and the right arm of Joe Bucci. It was a great game and great opportunity to see two of the top teams in CYO go head-to-head.”
Saint George’s starting guard Justin Corsale also had some post game thoughts to share.
“Their shots fell; ours not so much. The Dudes played a good game, but we’ll see them again.”
This was a big game for all CYO fans and players and the ball decided who the better team was in this matchup. Saint Jude’s came out victorious this game, but they will face again at the end of the regular season.
Jon Sapienza is a staff writer for The Rambler. He is a member of the Class of 2020. He enjoys participating in throwing events during track and field season and listening to music.