The Corpus Christi Fifth Grade basketball team opened their CYO season by splitting their first two games of the home schedule. A defensive struggle against St. Peter resulted in a frustrating loss but was rewarded with a decisive team effort for the victory against Notre Dame on the following weekend. The team, coached by Mike Falotico, returns home to Christi Gardens on Dec. 16 at 4 p.m. versus Our Lady of Hope.
The November 18 opener was a lesson in futility for both squads as scoring was at a premium. The first half was deadlocked at 2 and the halftime tally stood at 4-6 in favor of St. Peter. The game was dominated on the glass by big men Cambrique Cooper with a school record 22 rebounds and Joe Purcell with 11 boards as each also managed a block. Purcell led all scorers with seven points behind a solid 5 for 9 from the charity stripe. Two headed point guards Alex Ward (2 points) and Mike Fox (4 points) drove the offense and aided the defensive end with three rebounds apiece and four steals between them. St. Peter took charge of the game late in the second half en route to an 18-13 triumph.
One week later, the boys turned the tables on Notre Dame. Jumping out to a commanding 26-9 lead by halftime, Corpus Christi would never be headed. Falotico was magnificent with his rotation as most of the group punctured the scoresheet and made their presence felt. Alex Ward was stellar behind 12 first half points from inside and outside the lane. Mike Fox poured in 9 equally spread points over four quarters with 5 rebounds and 4 steals to boot. Tim Goncalves was excellent in filling all roles asked of him managing four rebounds and four steals. The defense was brilliant courtesy of Cooper Camby's glasswork (9 rebounds), Dan Gouveia's tenacity (two points, four boards, one assist and steal), Keith Medina's size (one block) and Bryan Vesley's athleticism (3 rebounds and a steal). Nick Conte controlled the ball during a critical third quarter en route to a pair of points and Tom McKeever matched the output with an assist as well. Endre Cooper was a force on the low block and filled the stat sheet with an assist, rebound, steal and field goal. The final score evidenced a decisive 37-26 victory for Corpus Christi.
The team, coached by Mike Falotico, returns home to Christi Gardens on December 16 at 4:00 p.m. versus Our Lady of Hope. The boys can also be seen locally throughout the season with home games on January 13 and February 3 and away games at St. Aidan on January 27 and Notre Dame on January 2.