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St. Joseph's CYO Starts 2018 with Many Wins

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Colby Twyman, Harrison Zabik, Will Walsh, Andrew Randazza, Kieran Dawkins, Luke Davenport, Will Kostka and Flynn Larson. Coach Larson and Dawkins joined Coach Williams and Davis of UNC. Credits: Gregory Dawkins
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St. Joseph's Varsity White team defeated St. Michael's in Cranford with the final score 51-27. Credits: Jurgens Bauer
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The St. Joseph 3rd Grade Boys Chamberlin team lost two overtime thrillers this weekend. On Saturday, they played great team defense against St. Helen Calandra, led by Gabriel Umbao and Emmanuel Cook, despite losing 12-11 in overtime. Liam Peterson and Al Agnis led the team in scoring with 4 points each.

On Sunday, the Celtics came back from being down 6 in the fourth quarter to force overtime against St. Helen’s Murphy. The team showed a lot of heart despite losing 24-18 in the extra period. Al Agnis and Liam Peterson once again led in scoring, while Fitz Chamberlin, Ethan Walmart and Gavin Lubomski were monsters on the boards.

The 4th Grade Boys team, under Chris Wack, won their second game of the season Saturday with a convincing win over All Saints in Bayonne. Nathaniel Wack led all scorers with 8 points, while Josh Pieroni fed the big men in the paint with 6 assists. Aiden WIlliams and Charlie Knutsen added 4 points each. Theodore Pappas, Colin Brandt and Emmanuel Canuto added some tough defense for the Celtics, helping to shut down All Saints' outside shot.

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The JV White 5th Grade Boys had an exciting weekend. On Saturday, the Celtics knocked off previously undefeated St. Agnes in Clark by a score of 30-24.  Seven Celtics players scored in a well-rounded effort against the talented opposition.  The game was tied at the end of the 1st and 2nd quarters and the Celtics had a 2 point lead heading to the final period.  Excellent passing and jump shooting helped the Celtics score the decisive points with Harrison Zabik, Flynn Larson and Steven Copeland all knocking down 4th quarter jumpers.  Steven Copeland's team-leading 11 rebounds were critical for the Celtics against the taller opponents.  Kieran Dawkins led the scoring with 12 points and added 4 assists. Copeland added 6 points to his double-digit rebounds total.  Luke Davenport swished a jumper and a foul shot and Jerry Browne scored on an acrobatic transition opportunity.  Colby Twyman played stellar defense and drained a free throw.  Will Walsh and Andrew Randazza manned the power forward spot and combined for 7 rebounds.

On Sunday, the JV White 5th Grade Boys had the opportunity to play a halftime scrimmage at the Scholarship Fund for Inner-City Children Challenge at Kean University.  The showcase game of the day was between national powers St. Benedict's Prep and Hudson Catholic and the 5th graders had the opportunity to play in front of a sell-out crowd at Harwood Arena at Kean University.  The Celtics displayed their precision passing and sharp shooting touch in front of the capacity crowd, which included University of North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams and his assistant coach Hubert Davis. The UNC coaches encouraged the young Celtics to keep working hard on their developing basketball skills.

The JV 6 boys Meola lost to a tough St. John’s Clark team 44 to 35 on a cold Friday night in Clark. John Pirone led the scoring with 12. John Wisniewski had 8, Henry Aaron, Will Schlageter and Grayson Thompson combined for 15. First quarter highlights included a Thompson rebound followed by a sharp bounce pass to Aaron for a layup. In the second quarter, Aaron had a no look pass to Wisniewski for a gorgeous jumper. Declan Cavanaugh played tough at both ends of the court. Will Spreeman and Justin DeVomecourt were back on the court with the team and played great defense causing multiple turnovers.

The Varsity White 7th Grade boys picked up a decisive league win on Sunday, defeating St. Michael's of Cranford 42-28.  The Celtics stormed out to an 11-2 lead in the first quarter and stayed in control of the game throughout.  Mike Pirone led the Celtics with 16 points and 8 rebounds.  Brendan Dawkins added 11 points and 3 assists.  Danny Guarnieri chipped in a career-high 11 rebounds along with a 4th quarter basket.  Nicholas Franklin scored a basket and also registered a beautiful assist finding Owen Holt under the basket for a layup.  William Walsman scored on a nifty drive to the basket and also sunk a free throw. Nicholas Alexander had 5 points and 5 rebounds in a strong all-around effort.  Liam Laskowski and Max Larson played solid games for the Celtics contributing excellent defense and strong ball handling.

The St. Joe's Varsity White team, coached by Jurgens Bauer, lost 40-37 in their Sunday afternoon game against St. Bartholomew played in Maplewood. The Celtics, held a 3 point halftime lead due to a pair of 3 pointers by Kye Haniph and another by Alex Werbaneth and solid play on the boards by Gabriel Augustin and Ryan Barrett. St Bartholomew scrambled by out scoring the Celtics by 11 points in the 3rd, taking an 8 point lead 33-25. The Celtics then employed a successful furious full court defense, resulting in several steals by Buchi Amobi and another by Nico Reyes, which cut the lead to 1 point. Unfortunately for the Celtics, that wasn't enough. Coach Bauer took ownership for the loss. "This one's on me. Our boys played hard, they worked hard to muster a comeback, I should have gone to the press sooner."

The St.Joe's 7th Grade Boys White team had a successful weekend coming back from the holiday break. On Saturday the team won on the road at St. Bartholomew's 40-21. It was the first game this season that the squad was at full strength and it showed. Declan O'Connell (8 points), Callan Bauer (8) and Connor Ward (11) were the leading scorers, with most of the points coming on fast breaks and close-range shots. Malachy Meyer and Chibuikem Onyemaechi played strong defense while chipping in 4 points each. Charlie Giannone was a demon on the boards and Derek Mingmongkol, Jeremiah Cook and Sebastian Pappas contributed at both ends of the floor.

Sunday's home game against St. Michael's got off to a flying start with Declan O'Connell going coast to coast for the first bucket. Sebastian Pappas and Derek Mingmongkol played great defense as the team limited St. Michael's to 3 points in the first quarter. Jeremiah Cook and Charlie Giannone came out strong in the second half leading the full-court press as the squad pulled away to a 31-17 win. Malachy Meyer and Callan Bauer controlled play from the back court while Chibuikem Onyemaechi dominated in the paint. Connor Ward ended as the leading scorer with 11 points.

Consistent play by leaders Alex Werbaneth and Buchi Amobi helped raise the performance of their teammates as St. Joseph's Varsity White team defeated St. Michael's in Cranford on Saturday 51-27. Kye Haniph's ball handling was sharp. "Every player scored," beamed coach Jurgens Bauer,  "We even made some layups-- amazing! And Gabriel showed me he's ready to play."

Gabe Augustin scored 12, (8 from offensive rebounds), Alex 11, Buchi 10 and Ryan Nnoli 8! Ryan Barrett 4, Javier Casella, Jude Michael and Point guard Kye Haniph each had 2. Bauer added, "I'm very pleased, the boys played as a team; it's so good to see that."
 

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