The 2016 Catholic Tip-Off Classic is beginning to become a tradition at St. Francis Central Catholic School. In it’s third year, it has become an exciting and highly competitive tournament to kick start the basketball season for both boys and girls teams. The schools invited look forward to the event, giving them a chance to not only showcase their talents in one of the best facilities for middle school ball, but also bond as a team as they stay the night and focus on basketball for the weekend.
This year’s tournament brought Our Lady of Peace and Corpus Christi from Wheeling, WV, Notre Dame from Clarksburg, WV, and your very own Trojans as the host school.
The Corpus Christi Crusaders girls, Notre Dame boys, and both St. Francis teams won on Friday night to set up the Championship games on Saturday. With a less than average first half, and a Crusader team that came in strong, The Lady Trojans had their hands full until the final quarter of the game; where they took control and dominated Corpus Christi in a 46-26 win for the Championship. The girls seem poised to have an outstanding season, playing tough, in-your-face defense and becoming unstoppable in the High-Low offense. Be sure to come out and see these girls play this year.
On the boys side, it was an instant classic as the two highly talented and well coached teams squared off in the final game of the weekend. Each quarter was tight, setting up an epic finish in the final :22 seconds of the game. Down 37-34, Notre Dame hit a three to tie the game. Without hesitation, Luke Bechtel took the inbound pass, dribbled the length of the court and hit a jumper with a hand in his face to regain the lead 39-37. Now with :12 seconds left, the Trojans recovered a loose ball and Patrick Koon was fouled, sinking both free throws to push the lead to 4 points. It wasn’t quite over yet, as Jailyn West scurried down the court and hit a tough three pointer to pull within 1 point with 1.9 seconds on the clock. After a near steal, Alec Poland held onto the ball as time expired and the Trojans won the Championship.
Congratulations to our boys and girls teams and thank you to all the volunteers and fans for making this another successful Tip-Off Classic!