With a 1-point lead against Christ the King (CK) in the championship of the 20th annual Tom Hopkins Memorial St. Cajetan Turkey Shoot, the Mt. Greenwood Gold fourth-grade boys basketball team needed a strong finish to squeeze out the win.
In reaching the championship, the Eagles had closed out their games with an efficient final run, and they were ready to do the same on Dec. 1.
Executing down the stretch, Mt. Greenwood defeated CK 30-20 and won its first Turkey Shoot title since the tournament began in 2000. According to Mt. Greenwood Coach Brian Healy, a team effort brought home the crown.
“All our games were pretty close. That helped us in this last game,” he said. “We’d faced some pressure each game, and everyone was working hard and working as a team.”
Collin Lawlor was a force for the Eagles in the win, pouring in 24 points and nabbing 8 rebounds. Ryan Tracy added 6 points.
“Collin is a really good player and a good team player,” Healy said. “He’s advanced beyond his age right now. He helps run the offense, and he’s a good rebounder and passer and, obviously, a good scorer, too.”
Mt. Greenwood led 17-16 following 2 CK free throws at the 12-minute mark of the second half.
Lawlor quickly provided a spark with a steal and a fast-break bucket. A minute later, he added 2 free throws and then scored inside on his third attempt during a scrum under the basket.
The Eagles closed the game on a 13-4 run.
“This group, it was their first games together. It was a good run,” Healy said. “It’s exciting. Everyone was jumping around and cheering, and all the kids on the bench were into it. It was a good time.”
The Mt. Greenwood Gold roster includes Cole McCann, Jack Cusack, Brennan O’Boyle, Wesam Haleem, Declan Manrique, Jack Fratto, Jake Fleming, Jack Doyle and Louie Soto. Pat Fleming is the assistant coach.
Leading CK were Case Cosme with 12 points along with Nolan Riley (6 points, 10 rebounds) and Jack Badke (2 points, 9 rebounds).
The Screaming Eagles had some chances late, but on a handful of shots in the lane, the rim was unkind.
Despite the outcome, CK Coach Andy Cosme said his team’s skills were impressive.
“All these kids, they pass and share the ball really well,” Cosme said. “I wish we would have shot a little better, but it happens. I couldn’t be more proud of the effort.”
Many of the students on the CK roster have played together on teams outside of school, but the Turkey Shoot was their first chance to play as teammates for the Screaming Eagles.
“It was really fun. Some of the kids were so excited because they’d never played for a championship,” Cosme said. “That’s pretty cool. Win or lose, it was a great opportunity to learn from. We’ll have a lot more games to come and, hopefully, a lot more championship games.”
The CK roster also includes John Borjas, Deshawn Jones, Ian Kelly, Ryan Mulchrone, Patrick Malloy, Max Rees, Ben Reisinger, Seamus Segroves and Roger Casas. Andy Rees is the assistant coach.
St. Catherine 15
In the third-place game, Ryan D’Andrea lifted the Chargers to the win, hitting the go-ahead free throw with 13 seconds left.
D’Andrea and Joe Staresinich scored 5 points each for St. Catherine. Ben Crisp added 3 points, and Charlie Killen added 2 points.
Leading Sutherland were Maxwell Gorrell (4 points), Jonah Duyan (3), Robert White (3), Aamir Smith (2) and Keenan Weekley (2).
St. Barnabas 18
Most Holy Redeemer 17
Ethan Weekley piled up 16 points for St. Barnabas in the consolation championship, including hitting the go-ahead basket off a baseline runner with 2:05 remaining in the game.
Aiden Phillips scored 2 points for the Buckeyes.
Most Holy Redeemer was led by Isaac Tushkowski (9 points) and Brody Briggs (8 points).
St. Cajetan Turkey Shoot Winners
2000: St. Joseph
2001: St. Barnabas-Red
2002:St. John Fisher-Blue
2004: Most Holy Redeemer-White
2005: St. Patricia
2006: St. Bernadette
2010: St. Catherine-White
2011: Christ the King-White
2012: Christ the King-Maroon
2013: St. Barnabas-White
2015: Christ the King-White
2016: Morgan Park Academy
2017: St. Cajetan-Black
2019: Mt. Greenwood-Gold