The junior high Lady Patriots basketball team finished the season on the “ultimate high note,” winning the Christian Schools Athletic Fellowship Regional Championship Tournament.
The Lady Pats defeated Victory Christian Academy of Decatur 18-14 in the championship game, with eighth grader Hannah Taylor leading the scoring with nine points.
CSAF draws from more than 50 schools across the Metroplex. In order to advance to the championship game, the Lady Patriots defeated Burleson Adventist School 28-10 in the semifinals with seventh grader McKenna Boggs scoring 12 points.
The junior high team finished with an overall season record of 20-3. Other highlights for the team included coming in first place in the VBA Junior High Invitational Tournament and taking third place in the Community Christian Holiday Tournament. They were coached by Rob Catuto and assisted by Matt Taylor.
“This was a very solid team led by point guard Tessa Catuto and post McKenna Boggs, but each game it seemed a different player would step up to contribute,” Catuto said. “The team had a great balance of offense and defense, inside play as well as outside shooting.
“I am looking forward to these girls continuing on into high school and making an impact in the varsity program at VBA in the near future.”
At the varsity level, the older Lady Patriots finished their season third in state, defeating Azle Christian 39-33. They were defeated by eventual state champion St. Paul’s Prep 41-18 in the semifinal game. This was the Lady Patriots’ second consecutive year to compete in the TCAF state tournament, where they were runners up last year.
Junior Suzannah Pool and senior Rayanne Langley were named to TCAF All-District First Team, and sophomore Cheyenne Graham was selected for Second Team. The Varsity Lady Patriots, also coached by Catuto and Taylor, finished the season with a 13-8 record and came in second place in their district.
“I was never so proud of a team as I was this one,” Catuto said. “After graduating two All-State First Team players from last year's team, I was not sure what I would have with a [much younger team], but they far exceeded my expectations.
“We are already looking forward to next season. I am very excited about the future of VBA Lady Patriot Basketball."
- Carman Peterson