Chasing a CYO ring upstate

Two Cincinnati schools heading up state

Two Cincinnati schools heading up state

The CYO season has finally come to an end and only two teams made it out on top. The Visitation Vikings and the St. Al’s Bridgetown Gators are the only two teams who are fortunate enough to be heading up to Sidney, Ohio to take on teams from all around the state. It’s been a bumpy road for both teams facing plenty of obstacles such as injuries and criticism. The CYO league is proud to have these two teams represent the city of Cincinnati in the state tournament.

Like I predicted back in October, the Vikings would finish top in the league without any trouble, going undefeated. They have too much raw talent and height on their squad to not be successful. They breezed through this season, stepping on every team they faced just like back in the grade school days. The state tournament is different than just the teams on the west side of Cincinnati though.  These teams that come from all over to compete in the tournament are no walk in the park. They know how to play the game and know what it takes to be successful in the tourney. Some of these teams even have experience unlike Al’s or Visi who are basically going into this tournament blindfolded. I think it’ll be interesting to watch how the Vikings react to the pressure of playing in front of a big crowd. They have all the talent in the world to bring back a state tournament championship but you never know what can happen in March. If they show up ready to go, there is no team that can stand in their way.

CYO league standings

On the other hand, I was completely wrong on my season prediction for the St. Al’s Gators. They shocked the Westside with how they performed. I had they going 5-5 back in October and they shoved that prediction right down my throat by finishing the season going 9-1. They came out of the rafters with how they played. Wouldn’t say they quite followed the whole “belong to the parish” rule but some things just get overlooked. They were the underdogs coming into this season and they will finish their season as underdogs. No one expects them to be anything in the tournament but like I said its March and crazier things have taken place. They have the height and shooters to be a threat but I don’t believe they have the heart to bring back a championship to Cincinnati.

Teams from all over are coming for one goal and that is to capture the championship in Sidney, Ohio. we hope to see a rerun of last year’s tournament as Westside school (St. Ignatius Wildcats) brought the trophy back to the ‘Nati. For those of us that aren’t skilled enough or just flat out don’t want to play high school basketball, it’s a dream come true to compete for a CYO state title. Ring chasing is starting to become a habit over here on the Westside and I’m sure it will continue to stay like that.