A vast array of athletic talent has risen to the top for Catholic high schools in the diocese.
Four schools recently brought home a total of five sectional championships, all in different team sports. The big winners were Bishop Kearney in boys’ basketball, Nazareth Academy in girls’ basketball, McQuaid Jesuit in ice hockey and boys’ indoor track, and Our Lady of Mercy in girls’ indoor track.
Bishop Kearney claimed its third straight Section 5 Class B boys’ basketball crown with a 59-42 victory over Mynderse Academy in the final held Feb. 29. Blair Roberts scored 18 points and Roderick Gray added 16 to power the top-seeded Kings over third-seeded Mynderse.
BK had advanced to the championship game with a 65-59 win over Greece Odyssey in semifinal play on Feb. 27. The Kings rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit by outscoring the Leopards 11-2 in the game’s final minutes.
By successfully defending its sectional title, BK improved its record to 17-5 and earned a spot in the state Class B qualifier game. That will take place against Charlotte on Wednesday evening, March 5, at 7:15 p.m. at Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena.
Nazareth won the Section 5 Class B girls’ basketball crown, rolling to a 66-43 victory over North Rose-Wolcott in the title game played March 1. Alyssa Santos and Nicole Jones led the top-seeded Lasers (20-2) with 11 points each against the sixth-seeded Cougars.
The Lasers had gained entry into the sectional final with a 45-30 victory over Greece Odyssey in a Feb. 26 semifinal game as Jones had 17 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks.
Next up for Nazareth is a state Class B qualifier matchup set for Wednesday night, March 5, against Wayland-Cohocton. Game time is 8 p.m. at Victor High School.
Elmira Notre Dame girls’ basketball had to settle for runner-up status in its Section 4 Class B tournament. The second-seeded Crusaders scored a 43-25 semifinal win over Lansing on Feb. 27, but were stopped 59-44 by top-seeded Seton Catholic in the title game on Feb. 29 despite 23 points from Mallory Lawes. Notre Dame finished with a sparkling 22-2 record and is 71-5 over the last three seasons, having won state Class C titles in 2006 and 2007.
McQuaid cruised to the Section 5 Class B hockey title with a 6-1 victory over fifth-seeded Victor in the final played Feb. 24. The second-seeded Knights were led by Nick Caton and Brent Sanderson with two goals each.
The Knights had advanced to the title contest with a 4-2 semifinal win over Geneva/Waterloo on Feb. 19 as Sanderson and Caton each scored in the game’s opening minute.
The team’s season came to an end with a 6-4 loss to Webster Thomas in a state Class B qualifier matchup held Feb. 27. However, the Knights (9-15-3) logged a strong post-season run after entering sectionals with a losing record.
McQuaid won five events to claim the Section 5 Class B boys’ indoor track crown on Feb. 16. Tomarris Bell (high jump and long jump), Yannick Prescod (55-meter dash), Christian Segar (300 meters) and the 800 relay earned first-place finishes for the Knights. Bell went on to score victories in the high jump and long jump at the sectional state-qualifying meet on Feb. 29.
Our Lady of Mercy won an indoor-track crown of its own on Feb. 16, capturing Section 5 Class B with six first places: Jamiee McClary (55 dash and 55 hurdles), Julie Dahlkemper (3,000), Kendra Zaffuto (1,000), Jaimee Miller (shot put) and the 3,200 relay. McClary (55 dash and 55 hurdles) and Zaffuto (1,000) then added first places at the state qualifier on Feb. 29. Also at that meet, Brianna Cromartie of Aquinas Institute was victorious in the 300, as was AQ’s 800 relay.