Maplewood Schools / Kids South Orange Sports

PHOTOS: St. Joe’s CYO—Baptiste Averaging 26 Pts/Game, Lonning Delivers Double-Double


From St. Joseph CYO Basketball:

Girls’ 8th Grade Team Success Continues With Baptiste Averaging 26 in First Five Games While Lonning Delivers Double-Double, Boys’ High School 9/10 Team Triumphs Over Westfield

The St. Joseph Celtics (Maplewood) Girls’ 8th grade team defeated St. Joseph’s of East Orange on Friday night by a final score of 78-61 to move to 5-1 on the season. 

Summer Lonning had a CYO-career night with a double-double, including 27 points and 15 rebounds. Talia Baptiste led all scorers in the game with 39 points, including a 15-point burst in the fourth quarter. Hannah Straub spread 6 points over three quarters with key baskets to stop several big East Orange scoring runs. Paloma Duvergne had four points, all at critical moments in the third quarter, and also finished with 8 rebounds and 4 steals. Rory Weldon once again led the defense against East Orange’s top scorer, and scored 2 points to close out a big 21-point third quarter for St. Joseph’s. 

The weekend before, the St. Joseph Celtics Varsity Girls (8th) won at home on Sunday by a final score of 57-32 over Good Shepherd Academy. Down 14-12 at the end of the first quarter, the Celtics defense took over in the second quarter,  yielding only two points to run out to a 24-16 lead, and they would not relinquish the lead thereafter. 

Talia Baptiste led all scorers in the game with 23 points. Summer Lonning finished with a season high 17, and seven girls scored overall for the Celtics. Paloma Duvergne had a breakout game offensively finishing with seven points and four assists. Rory Weldon led the 2nd quarter comeback with four points and two assists in just four minutes, and Susanna Knutsen, Peyton Hollis and Catherine Holt rounded out the scoring with two points each. Hollis and Megan Driscoll paced the defense with four steals each, and Kate Driscoll finished with eight rebounds.

Celtics Game Note: Baptiste is now averaging 26 points per game through five games this season.  

9th-10th grade Celtic boys dominate Westfield’s Holy Trinity and St. Helen’s (64-53)  in Weekend Play

On February 8, the 9th and 10th grade boys’  team took on Westfield’s St. Helen’s, always a force in CYO play,  but the Celts were ready to compete. 

Down by 10 points at the half, by a score of 23-33, the St. Joe’s boys battled back in the third period to take the lead and then surged to a strong finish scoring 41 second half points, while holding St. Helen’s to only 20. 

“Frequently we struggle early, but there are times like this evening when they really click.” Tonight’s second half was the best we’ve played, the boys did a superior job, and they played with pride, Celtic pride!”, reported Coach Bauer.  

Scoring 15 points, (curiously all in the second half), was Patrick Campbell. Buchi Amobi finished with 13, Jeremiah Cook and Frederick Groppe each added 9, and Edward Garcia and William Walsman 8, while Danny Guarneri sank a pair of free throws to complete the 23 point fourth quarter. 

The next day, Westfield’s Holy Trinity experienced more Celtic strength, with stellar guard play the key to the 9-10 boys’ team victory,  with balanced scoring made possible as ball-hawking defensive pressure created offensive opportunities and brought the team to 5-5. 

Bauer shared,  “I have been asking our team all season to make their layups. Prior to tonight’s game, I made sure to specifically add the word ‘please’. I am so very proud of these young men. They played like a team!”  Added Bauer, “Nicholas Franklin consistently drove to the basket, finishing several drives with successful layups, and his resulting smile was magical.” 

Individual efforts were numerous, Buchi Amobi probed the lane several times, although his 6 points came from a pair of threes. 

Liam Laskowski displayed movement on both sides of the floor and took 3 good shots, so what if they didn’t drop, keep it up. Edward Garcia, who gave up a few inches to each of his opponents, persisted in causing missed shots and grabbed a handful of rebounds. Owen Holt, in the running for (unofficial) most improved player,  really has come on strong. 

Patrick Campbell, with 14 points, again handled the ball with savvy and distributed several shiny assists. Frederick Groppe’s notoriety for scoring early held, with 11 points. He shot over 50%, with two nice drives to the hoop. 

Callan Bauer, who fouled out the previous night, enjoyed a good outing, shooting well and scoring 10, as did William Walsman. Both players also showed their abilities on the defensive end, with William once again repeatedly picking opponent’s pockets, while Callan protected the baseline, grabbed a handful of rebounds and played solidly.  Jeremiah Cook continued to deliver solidly for the team as well as they headed straight back to the gym on Monday for practice. 

The victory over St. Helen’s avenged the prior weekend’s Celtic outing against that team,  a 59-49 loss. The Celtics clawed their way back on two separate occasions, twice cutting the deficit to 1 point.  According to Coach Bauer, “Our boys showed they have the talent, now if we can just play smarter and focus, we will be in position to succeed.”

Jeremiah Cook had his best game ever that night, scoring 18 points, diving for every loose ball and Patrick Campbell followed with a tenacious dozen, mainly by driving to the hoop repeatedly. Connor Ward added 8 and Frederick Groppe 5 points. Rounding out the scoring with 2 points each were Owen Holt, Buchi Amobi and Callan Bauer. 

On January 26, the Varsity Boys (Walsh) team lost to a tough St. Catherine’s team, 43-34.  Riley Walsman led all scorers with 13, followed by Lincoln Kessler and Simon Meade with 5 each.  Timothy Van de North, Will Walsh and Riley Donohue played tough defense with multiple steals and blocks.  Andrew Randazza hit a late 3 to close the score to 30-26, but St Catherine’s pulled away with two three-pointers of its own.  

Grades 3 and 4: 

It was a duel between two St. Josephs: Lubomski’s 3-4 Boys from Maplewood tipped off against the hometown East Orange team on Saturday. The Celtics launched into a big, early lead thanks to an 8-point first quarter from Will Placke, and the team was ahead 26-2 at the half. Jack Pachal led the Celtics with 11 points — 2 on consecutive free throws — helping secure victory for St. Joe’s (Green) 37-4.

On Sunday, Lubomski’s Boys seemingly had the advantage over St. Aloysius with a deeper bench, but the Saints came out strong with some fast lay-ups to pull out a 7-2 lead. The Celtics tightened up their defense, though, and finished the half behind 17-12. Although the team fought back hard, and Blake Waller and Will Placke generated several turnovers for St. Joe’s, the St. Aloysius boys stayed on target, edging the Celtics 23-22.

The prior weekend, this team ran the scoring gamut: Every player notched at least one basket in the team’s rematch against Our Lady of the Lake on Saturday, Feb. 1. Will Placke led the charge with 6 points, and fellow Celtics Kieran Lonieski and Blake Waller were close behind with 4 each. St. Joe’s played very strong defense, shutting out the visitors in the first half and allowing just 3 points in the second, despite a newly aggressive Lake offense. Although both teams were much improved since their first outing, the Celtics’ deeper bench and larger size overall proved decisive advantages, leading to 27 points worth of baskets (officials capped the final score at 21-3) in the team’s most-lopsided victory yet.

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