The St. Bede Bruins defended their championship of the Coal City Coaler Thanksgiving Tournament with authority, sweeping the field 3-0 with Saturday’s 70-32 win over Gardner-South Wilmington.
St. Bede coach Mike Kilmartin doesn’t take any championship too lightly.
“You don’t get many chances to win titles. Last year we won this tournament but got second in three others,” he said.
The Bruins took a 16-5 first-quarter lead on GSW and raced to a 40-19 halftime lead. St. Bede senior Brad Groleau led all scorers with 22 points with Bobby Morrow netting 12 and Damin Smith and Joe Pyszka adding 10 each.
St. Bede 65, Coal City 45: The host Coalers played the Bruins to a 29-26 halftime score before St. Bede kicked into gear with a 26-9 third-quarter assault to go up 55-34.
Pyszka poured in 14 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to pace the Bruins. Groleau added 17 points and Sam Lucas 13.
The St. Bede sophomores also went 3-0 to win their portion of the tournament, defeating Coal City 67-29 Friday and GSW Saturday.
St. Anne 77, Hall 38: After winning the first game of the Seneca Thanksgiving Tournament, the Red Devils dropped their final three to finish sixth, falling to St. Anne on Saturday. Miguel Villareal paced the Red Devils with 10 points and Brett Fanning had eight.
Illiana Christian 91, Hall 59: IC outscored the Red Devils 25-15 in the second quarter Friday to take a 45-31 lead. Fanning, who was named to the All-Tournament Team, poured in 32 points and Austin Schmitt added 10.
Oregon 59, Mendota 56: The Hawks held off a 25-18 rally by the Trojans to win their own tournament Saturday. Trae Blumhorst and Jon Gehm led the Trojans with 13 points each and James Carroll had 12.
AFC 71, LaMoille/Ohio 51: Julian Gonzalez had 15 points and Brandon Morris contributed 12 points and five rebounds for the Lions in Friday’s tournament loss.
St. Bede 29, Princeville 24: The Lady Bruins finished up tournament play in fourth-place with a 2-3 record. Laura Sickley had 11 points in the win.
All in all, it was a good finish for the Lady Bruins, who are dealing with injuries to starters Whitley Funfsinn (broken thumb) and Mo Dean (hyperextension) along with Sophie Carus (broken ankle) and Julia Jackson (concussion).
“I thought we improved and learned each game to play the game at the varsity level. A ton of experience was gained that is going to pay dividends in the future for all of the girls,” SBA coach Tom McGunnigal said. “I have never had this type of injury bug, especially with broken bones. The last bone break during a game I remember was Taylor Miller’s sophomore season, Carolann Barnes ACL during summer of her junior year, but nothing like this. Making us grow quickly, but we are definitely growing.”
Wethersfield 49, St. Bede 44: The Lady Bruins came up short Friday with All-Tournament pick Lydia Stariha scoring a team-high 17 points and Laura Sickley added 10.
• Brimfield ran the tournament gamut with a 5-0 record to take first place followed by Wethersfield (4-1) and Kewanee (3-2).