St. Ann's champs: Top (l-r) Asst. Coach Charlie Conners, Candace Andrews, Maria King, Claire Folan, Molly Ryan, Kaelyn Sullivan, Fiona Morgan, Coach Lisa DelTufo w/son Charlie Jr. Bottom: Mallory O'Dwyer, Lauren Cavaleri, Kelly Sullivan, Taylor Ball. Photo by John Sullivan
St. Ann's Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) Senior Girls basketball team have won their divisional state championship title for the second year in a row by beating North Quincy's Sacred Heart parish on Sunday by a score of 42-28.
After winning against St. Mary's of Franklin last Saturday, St. Ann went on to challenge Sacred Heart for the championship title. CYO basketball's secretary Corinne Ball said that before Sunday, the Neponset team lost two games and won one against Sacred Heart during the regular season. This weekend's showdown at Milton High School changed all that.
"Pretty much everybody was scoring," said St. Ann CYO Coach Lisa DelTufo of her team's performance. The team was led in points by Candace Andrews, who chalked up 19 points in the victory. The team includes Andrews, Maria King, Claire Folan, Molly Ryan, Kaelyn Sullivan, Fiona Morgan, Mallory O'Dwyer, Lauren Cavaleri, Kelly Sullivan, and Taylor Ball. DelTufo is joined in her coaching duties by coach Charlie Conners.
It was a close game from the beginning, DelTufo added, saying that there were times where they were winning and then Sacred Heart would score and get ahead. She said that since they have played the team before, they were prepared.
"We knew what we had to do to beat them," she said.
The girls, the majority of whom are St. Ann, Boston Latin School or Boston Latin Academy students, are mostly new to the division. DelTufo said that six out of the ten girls are new to the team this season.
They are not, however, new to DelTufo as a coach. She has worked with the same girls in BNBL at the Walsh Community Center and ADSL at Tynan Community Center, both in South Boston.
The Senior Girls Parish Division is comprised of girls in ninth through twelfth grade, but the oldest girl on DelTufo's team is a sophomore in high school, and all of them are in their early teens. DelTufo said that some girls will play above their age group depending on how advanced they are.
Since the beginning of the season in November, DelTufo had focused on defensive strategies.
"They just had to learn all the different types of defense," she said, adding that this emphasis benefited them on Sunday. "Their defense was awesome."
"They all tried really hard defensively," said Ball, whose daughter, Taylor Ball, plays on the St. Ann team, adding that every player also scored a basket during the game.
The season runs between November and March, with sign-ups usually in September, DelTufo said. Anyone is free to come in and register at the St. Ann location. "You're not going to get turned away," said DelTufo. "Everybody makes the team."