Tuesday, July 23, 2024

St. Theresa Boys Claim Diocesan and State CYO Titles

The St. Theresa Varsity Boys Basketball Team recently won the 71st annual CYO Harrisburg Diocesan Championship held at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Hershey, and qualified for the Final 8 in the State Championship Tournament, which was the weekend of March 15-17 in the Diocese of Erie.

In state competition, the team won its first-round game in an overtime thriller Friday night, 43-38, against Our Lady of Mount Carmel of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in front of an exciting crowd at Mercyhurst University and advanced to the program’s 5th PA state Final 4 appearance in the last seven seasons.

In a spirited Eastern PA state semifinal game, St. Theresa weathered an early jump and held off multiple runs by St. Clare/St. Paul of the Diocese of Scranton in the second half, holding on to win 50-33 to advance to only the school’s fourth state championship game appearance in their 75-year history. In what will be remembered as a CYO game for the ages, a true contest of champions, St. Theresa battled Blessed Sacrament from the Diocese of Erie in a championship game rematch from 2023. The teams battled for the entire game, with St. Theresa overcoming a late six-point deficit in the second half to win their second boys’ PA State CYO Championship ever with a score of 47-41.

The team finished the regular season and post season with an impressive record of 26-1 overall. The team had a historic run, winning the St. Theresa pre-season tournament, becoming Harrisburg League Champions with a 12-0 record, winning the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Christmas Tournament in Philadelphia, three-peating as Harrisburg Diocesan Champions and claiming the 2024 PA CYO State Championship.

With this year’s PA CYO State Championship, the St. Theresa varsity boys program now has won two PA State Championships in three appearances over the last six seasons (2018 and 2024) along with seven Harrisburg Diocesan championships in the last 13 seasons (2011, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2022, 2023 and 2024). The boys’ only loss this season came at the hands of historic Baltimore Catholic League powerhouse Mount St. Joseph’s in a neutral court showdown at Mount Saint Mary’s University’s Knott Arena.

Team members included Tommy Jones, Michael Williams, Mason Noecker, Torin Lang, Jalyn Bratcher, Luke Bowser, Aidan Fournier, Nike Craig, Jack Czarnecki, Manny Gassis, Liam Bauer, Charlie Melchionni, and Alex Czarnecki. The team is coached by Jason Grace, Head Coach, and Assistant Coaches Scott Rider, Adam Boussatta and Sam Bates.

The team expressed its gratitude for the fans’ support this season and looks forward to representing the St. Theresa Parish and School community, along with the Diocese of Harrisburg as they defend their PA State CYO and Diocesan Championships.

(Submitted article and photos, courtesy of Jason Grace.)

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