OLM Junior Team Captures NE Regional CYO Championship  

by | Apr 29, 2024

Above: The New England champs. 

A first for the school and parish in recent memory

Editor’s note: Submitted content. We apologize for the delay in posting this.

East Greenwich, RI – Our Lady of Mercy School’s Junior (Grades 5 & 6) Boys Basketball Team captured the New England CYO Championship, a first for the school  and parish in recent memory, on Sunday, March 24, in Manchester, N.H., with  a 40-37 victory over St. Leo’s of the Diocese of Worcester, Mass.  

The Jaguars, coached by Mrs. Sara Passananti and Fr. Daniel Mahoney, qualified for the New England Tourney after capturing the CAL state title with wins over Mercymount, 35-28, in the semifinals, and Immaculate Conception, 45-15, in the final.  

In Manchester, OLM defeated both Thomas Aquinas School (Diocese of Bridgeport),  44-29, and Trinity Catholic Academy (Diocese of Boston), 62-39, on Saturday, March 23, en route to the title game. The OLM Juniors finished the 2023-24 season with a 12-2 record overall. 

In other OLM Basketball news, the OLM Girls’ Grammar (Grades 7 & 8) Team advanced to the New England Tournament as well with a CAL State title. Earning a first-round bye, the Jaguars fell to eventual New England Champs, Corpus Christi, from the Diocese of Hartford. Coached by Mrs. Betsy Smith and Mr. David Giardino, the OLM Girls finished the season an impressive 12-1. 

And in a twist of irony during the season of March Madness, two members of the Connecticut Huskies Men’s Basketball team, playing in the Sweet 16 in Boston while attempting to defend their 2023 national title, spent time at OLM School. UConn senior guard Andrew Hurley, son of coach Dan Hurley, attended OLM from 5th to 8th grade (2012-15) and went on to play two years at Bishop Hendricken before the family left East  Greenwich when Coach Hurley took the coaching job in Storrs after a 6-year stint at the helm at URI. Fifth-year guard Cam Spencer, who transferred to UConn after playing at Loyola (Md.) and Rutgers, also attended OLM from 2006-08. Seems like spending time on the OLM court might just be the stuff dreams are made of!

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Bruce Mastracchio
Bruce Mastracchio
May 1, 2024 7:04 am

Congratulations to the OLM Boys and Girls for their successful seasons. You are very deserving of the accolades.
In answer to the first part, OLM had a history of winning basketball titles back in the 1940’s and 50’s under Coach John Roberti. They played in the Warwick CYO League and had strings of success in Midgets and Cadets (8 titles in a row, as I remember). Later on, older OLM boys participated in many tournaments in RI and Mass. and were highly successful.
After that, Dr. Bert Underhill coached several successful OLM teams.
OLM was also very competitive in Baseball, Track and Softball, and, under the direction of Mrs.” Pinky” Schoos, I believe, won two state cheerleading titles. (My two sisters, Karen and Gail, were key members of the winning cheer group).
So, keep it up, Jaguars (OLM was Crusaders back then), you have a lot of tradition to uphold.
PS: I have some pictures of some ’50’s OLM teams. Will send to EGN if I find them.


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