St. Joseph’s basketball teams tip off season with great efforts

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Photos captions:

St. Joseph’s 7th Grade White Team: First row from left: Owen Holt, Max Larson, Mike Pirone, Danny Guarnieri, Nicholas Alexander, Nicholas Franklin, Brendan Dawkins and Liam Laskowski Not Pictured is William Walsman. Second row: Coaches Kevin Larson, Mike Pirone, Greg Dawkins and Mike Laskowski.

St. Joseph’s 5th Grade White Team: First row from left:  Colby Twyman, Andrew Randazza, Kieran Dawkins, Flynn Larson, Luke Davenport. Second row:  Jerry Browne, Will Walsh, Steven Copeland, Chris Severe. Third row:  Coaches Kevin Larson and Greg Dawkins.

St. Joseph’s 5th Grade White Team and 6th Grade Team: First row from left:  Steven Copeland, Andrew Randazza, Kieran Dawkins. Second row: Colby Twyman, Will Walsh, Jerry Browne, Lukas Alexander, Jake Laskowski. Third row: Matthew Corr, Cade Minerley, Matthew Moloney, John Wisniewski, Cian O’Connor, John Pirone. Fourth row:  Coaches Greg Dawkins, Kevin Larson, Mike Laskowski, Mike Pirone and John Moloney.

MAPLEWOOD, NJ – St. Joseph’s CYO basketball program tipped off the 2017-2018 season this past weekend, Nov. 18-19, with three of its teams participating in the 9th Annual St. Peter’s Prep Invitational in Jersey City.

In the opening game, St. Joseph’s 7th Grade boys White team played a thrilling contest against St. Helen’s of Westfield.  Trailing 35-28 heading into the fourth quarter, the Celtics erupted for 23 points in the final period.  The Celtics’ full-court press caused numerous turnovers and led to multiple transition baskets.  Nicholas Franklin drained a critical 3-pointer late in the game and Max Larson sunk two free throws to ice the game for the Celtics.  Michael Pirone led the way with 27 points and took home game MVP honors and Brendan Dawkins added 17 points in the 51-47 victory.

In the second game of the event, St. Joseph’s had two of its own teams play against each other as a 6th grade team featuring players from the Red and Black teams matched up against the 5th grade boys White team.  The older Celtics led for almost the entire game, but the 5th graders used their defensive pressure to keep the game close.  The 6th graders emerged with a hard-fought 34-28 victory.  John Wisniewski led the 6th graders with 15 points and took home his team’s MVP award.  John Pirone had 12 points and Jake Laskowski added 6 points for the victors.  Steven Copeland led the 5th graders and was awarded his team’s MVP award with 15 points.  Kieran Dawkins (6), Flynn Larson (5) and Chris Severe (2) rounded out the scoring for the 5th graders.