Above: OLM 5th and 6th grade Girls Basketball New England CYO runners up. Submitted photo
Our Lady of Mercy School’s girls basketball team is the New England CYO runner-up after dropping a very close 24-22 championship game to St. Mary’s of Hartford, Conn., which took place on Sunday April 2, at LaSalle Academy.
Friday night the OLM team, comprised of nine 5th and 6th grade students, enjoyed a 36-24 win over St. Catherine of Siena of Trumbull, Conn., to advance in the tournament. They won again on Saturday with a 24-19 victory over St. John the Evangelist of Attleboro, Mass. That victory earned them a spot in the championship game against St. Mary’s. It was a hard-fought battle, with them trailing by just 2 points at the final buzzer. Many OLM students, families, and other supporters came out to cheer on the team, including OLM Parish Pastor Very Rev. Bernard Healey.
Under the coaching of Betsy Smith and David Giardino, the team enjoyed a highly successful season, including winning the state championship in March. They finished in first place during the regular season with an impressive 9-2 record. OLM defeated Monsignor Clarke in the state final.
Throughout the season, the Jaguars competed with a balance of powerful offense and tenacious defense and rebounding.
“This was a great season of friendship, fun, and, of course, basketball for the Lady Jaguars! Every player improved individually, some dramatically so,” said Coach Smith. “More importantly, they played every game as a cohesive team, and their sportsmanship in both victory and defeat exhibited the Catholic goodwill that their families and OLM seek to instill in them. Coach Giardino and I are tremendously proud of the season they put together.”
Congratulations to OLM hoops, continuing a winning tradition that started back in the 1950’s with boy and girl
athletic teams always at the top of RI CYO sports competition.