It was a thriller throughout, with a playoff atmosphere and fans from both sides cheering loudly. But in the end, it was the St. Paul’s Wolves that came out on top.
Devonte Allen scored 23 points, Parker Edwards chipped in an additional 13 and the Wolves defeated the De La Salle Cavaliers 46-44 to win their second CYO championship in three years.
St. Paul’s head coach Stephen Dale was happy for his team after the game.
“A tremendous amount of credit goes to De La Salle,” he said. “They’re an unbelievable championship level program so just to be able to compete with them is only gonna serve us well moving forward.
“This was a playoff atmosphere. It wasn’t pretty but I thought we grinded really well against a really high quality opponent.”
Allen, the CYO tournament MVP, was elated for his team’s performance.
“This is the second time in two years being a CYO tournament champion,” he said. “Second time being MVP, too. It’s a great feeling. Two years ago winning the CYO gave us great momentum going into the rest of my sophomore season and I think it’s gonna give us great momentum going into the rest of my senior season.”
As for De La Salle, who won the CYO tournament last season as well as the Division II state championship, the loss was their first taste of defeat this young season. Cavaliers coach Paul Kelly was confident heading forward.
“I think we got a chance to be a good team at some point this season,” he said. “I’m really proud of our effort, I thought we played incredibly hard the problem was we did not play well and you can’t beat a really good, senior-laden team if you don’t play hard and well.”
The game was a close won throughout, as the first quarter was a low scoring affair with De La Salle leading 8-7 at the end of one.
Though the scoring picked up in the second, the game remained a back and forth affair as Abrim Frye and Jalen Ned did their best for the Cavaliers to try and counter Allen and Edwards. Their efforts helped the Cavs keep pace as the score was tied 21-21 at halftime. Frye and Ned each finished with 13 points.
The intensity continued into the second half, however the Wolves were able to take the advantage 31-29 at the end of the third.
The fourth quarter was one wild ride as the lead changed multiple times. Frye managed to tie the game with 1:18 remaining to go to keep the Cav’s fighting. Allen was able to answer back with a layup with 1:04 remaining to retake the lead. Frye had one last chance to win it with 10 seconds remaining but his 3 pointer bounced off the rim and the Wolves went home with the trophy.