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CYO championship is one for the ages

Juniors+Milan+Jain%2C+AJ+Vinchur%2C+Thomas+Haber%2C+and+Connor+Graverson+celebrate+their+championship+victory+after+a+long%2C+hard-fought+game.
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CYO championship is one for the ages

Juniors Milan Jain, AJ Vinchur, Thomas Haber, and Connor Graverson celebrate their championship victory after a long, hard-fought game.

Juniors Milan Jain, AJ Vinchur, Thomas Haber, and Connor Graverson celebrate their championship victory after a long, hard-fought game.

courtesy of Andrew Rygiel

Juniors Milan Jain, AJ Vinchur, Thomas Haber, and Connor Graverson celebrate their championship victory after a long, hard-fought game.

courtesy of Andrew Rygiel

courtesy of Andrew Rygiel

Juniors Milan Jain, AJ Vinchur, Thomas Haber, and Connor Graverson celebrate their championship victory after a long, hard-fought game.

Ty Kang, Staff writer

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When entering high school, basketball becomes a thing of the past for many. Most kids are forced to quit if not making the school team, however, there is an alternative for students that has become popular in recent years. Ranging in all skill levels, CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) basketball in Hillsborough is one of the most inclusive and exciting things throughout the year. Although there are no tryouts or weekly practices, the league is still very competitive.

This past Sunday, the championship game for the oldest league was contested. Despite being in the freshman/sophomore league last year, the two same teams happened to make it to the championship for two years in a row; it was a rematch of Mary Mother of God vs. St. Joes.

Last year, Mary Mother of God took it all. In a two overtime thriller, Mary Mother of God was able to pull out an upset victory over the favorites.

“Winning the championship last year was a great feeling,” junior Josh Quick said. “It was a packed gym with everyone watching. It was great too because we were the underdogs and managed to win.”

It would be no easy task to repeat as champions. St. Joes was the higher seed going into the game and was looking for revenge.

“Last year was heartbreaking to lose,” junior Will Shokoff said. “Our team this year is a lot better though, and it should be an exciting game nonetheless.”

The game went back and forth the whole time with players on each team exchanging baskets. It was filled with exciting moments and tough defense. It would eventually go into overtime, and just when it seemed like it would go into a second, the unthinkable happened.

It was a tied game with less than two seconds left in overtime, and junior Milan Jain took the inbound pass and heaved it from half court to win the championship.

“It was one of the greatest things to ever happen,” Jain said. “To beat them two years in a row and hitting the game winning shot is something I’ll never forget.”

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CYO championship is one for the ages