When most of the Bay Area was riveted on Game 1 of the Warriors series with the Rockets, some of us were holed up in the CYO gym at St. Emydius to watch the 6th grade Girls CYO Division I championship game between the Broncos of St. Thomas More and the Good Shepherd Blazers.
The Blazers didn’t start the season with high hopes, losing a key game and forfeiting another, the future was unclear. Through sheer determination and hard work, the Blazers secured the 4th seed in the playoffs. As exciting as that was, their playoff game was against St. John’s, the undefeated Division I champion, the team they lost to last year. It didn’t look good. The Blazers already lost two games to them this year. But these girls fought a good fight, and triumphed over the Eagles. Rachel Marcic stated on her Facebook regarding this game, “Fast paced, Nail biting, heart pumping playoff game but Blazers got the win ! on to the Championship game next week !!!! Woohooooo!!! Go Blazers !!!!” One more game for the coveted Division I title.
St. Thomas More came to the championship game with an 7-1 record, second only to the now defunct previously undefeated Eagles. The Blazers hobbled in with a 5-3 record, clearly the underdog. It was a defensive duel from the start. The Blazers held the Broncos score to 3 while amassing 10 points of their own in the first two quarters, the third quarter was scoreless, and we all waited with bated breath for the Blazers to hold their lead during the fourth quarter. But, no, no easy finish for the Blazers. The Broncos kicked in, like the Rockets in Game 4; and by the end of regulation, the score was tied 12-12.
The next three minutes of overtime were excruciating. Back and forth each team rallied, up two, down two, foul here, foul there, each team’s defense demonstrated how decisive their determination can change a game. With the score tied and the clock ticking, Ava Marcic planted a lay up to get the win for the Blazers. Way to go, girls.
Coach Marcic commented: “This year’s Division I was full of talented players and teams collectively. So much, that we finished with a 4-3 record and barely were able to grab the last playoff spot. But, the girls battled through some stretches of inconsistency to get it together and make plays when it counted.” Coach Arenson added: “The girls responded great and were up to the challenge. Winning the championship by beating the #1 and #2 teams was incredible and made it even more special. Hard work and teamwork guided them to the championship. The future is bright for these girls.”
The team wishes to thank their coaches, Marcus Marcic and Brian Arenson, for the time they gave to the team. Also, many thanks to the parents who help transport the girls and organize the schedule. You know who you are.
Back Row: Coach Arenson, Nicole Lavorini, Ellie Fentanes, Ava Marcic, Coach Marcic.
Middle Row: Maya McKinney, Kat Duguay, Sydney Gallant, Iris Ormando
Front: Emma Bradshaw