St. Joseph’s hoopsters shine in weekend showcases

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — In a thrilling weekend of basketball, the St. Joseph Celtics showcased their skills and team spirit, with each team contributing to a memorable series of games. 

The Celtics’ eighth grade Varsity girls team beat Good Shepherd Academy on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 11, in a 38-23 victory that coincided with “senior night,” honoring the tight-knit team during their last-ever CYO regular season home game. Highlights from the game included nifty no-look passes by Violet Kessler, Sofia Peterson’s 3-pointer in the second quarter, tenacious rebounds by Kelsey Kouyoumdjian and strong outside shooting by Cassie Maguire.

The Junior Varsity girls also had an eventful weekend. Their determination was on full display on Saturday, Feb. 10, earning a win by default against St. Thomas, which couldn’t field enough players. Despite this, the teams played a friendly, with St. Thomas’ substitutes putting up a valiant effort, resulting in an 18-10 “win” over the Celtics. Sunday’s game, however, was a tougher challenge as St. Joseph’s faced the top-seeded St. Aloysius. Despite being overpowered 35-9, the JV Celtics showed great resilience, keeping their formidable opponents scoreless in the fourth quarter.

The boys’ teams also had their share of action. Coach John Walsh’s eighth-grade team clinched a hard-fought 40-33 win against St. Thomas. 

Meanwhile, the sixth-grade boys, under coach Dave Chamberlain, faced a tough loss of 45-36 against the same school. However, another sixth-grade team, coached by Riddick, bounced back with a 37-29 victory over Our Lady of Sorrows. 

Not to be outdone, Steve Lubomski’s fourth-grade boys displayed their burgeoning talent with a commanding 32-12 win against St. Thomas.

This weekend was a testament to the spirit and skill of the St. Joseph Celtics. From the youngest players to the seasoned eighth-graders, each team demonstrated the heart and hustle that define Celtic basketball. Most teams have just one game left before the playoffs, which start on Feb. 29 and end with the championship weekend on March 9-10.