In the girls’ bracket of the 55th annual Padre Serra tournament the teams that were suppose to get to the elite eight did. St. John Vianney/St. Mary Visitation, Brookfield/Elm Grove; St. Joseph, Grafton; Holy Apostles, New Berlin; St. Leonard, Muskego; St. Anthony on the Lake, Pewaukee; and St. Sebastian, Milwaukee, all survived quite easily.
St. John the Baptist, Plymouth, gave St. Matthias, Milwaukee, a scare but St. Matthias won, 25-24. They’ll play St. Sebastian on March 21.
However, St. Francis Borgia, Cedarburg, might be the Cinderella of the tournament on the girls’ side. They beat St. Monica, Whitefish Bay, 23-4, on March 14, and then on one day’s rest, they defeated second-ranked St. Joseph/St. Catherine, Racine, 26-23.
“That was a good game, it was a close game,” Bob Roloff, selection committee member, said. “It was tied with a minute left and they pulled it off.”
They’ll play top-ranked St. John Vianney/St. Mary Visitation on March 21.
On the boys’ side, St. Mary, Hales Corners, defeated St. Anthony, Pewaukee, 38-30, on March 15. On one day’s rest they defeated St. Lucy, Racine, 36-23.
“The biggest surprise is the fact that St. Mary’s of Hales Corners has been doing very well,” Roloff said. “They pulled off two upsets here…They’re the surprise of the tournament right now. And they only won two games in conference; they were 2-10.”
After a week of rest for St. Mary, Elm Grove, and St. Joseph, Big Bend, the two teams battled each other with St. Mary winning, 34-32.
St. Mary, Hales Corners, and St. Mary, Elm Grove will meet on March 22.
As on the girls’ side, most of the higher ranked teams in the boys’ bracket advanced to the elite eight. St. Alphonsus, Greendale; University School, Milwaukee, and Christ King, Wauwatosa, all advanced easily.
There were a few tense games. Top-ranked Blessed Savior, Milwaukee, edged St. Charles, Burlington, 37-36. And St. Frances Cabrini, West Bend, gave number two St. Catherine, Milwaukee, a run but eventually lost, 44-42.
St. Catherine will play St. Alphonsus and Blessed Savior will play University School; both games will be on March 22.
St. Francis Borgia, boys’ team was the darling of the tournament earning several days off. Holy Apostles, New Berlin, defeated St. John Vianney, 39-31, and 48 hours later they ended St. Francis’ championship hopes, 41-27.
Holy Apostles will play number-one ranked Christ King on March 22.
With most of the best teams playing each other, this final weekend of the tournament is setting itself up to be one of the most entertaining of the year.
“I always enjoy Thursday and Friday… the most,” Roloff said. “To me, biggest night is getting to the weekend so that you can play two games.”
Winners of the games on March 21 and 22 will play in the semi-finals on March 23. Winners of those games will meet in the championship on March 24; the losers will play for third place the same day. All games are played at Mount Mary College, Milwaukee.
Also this weekend on the college level, when most Wisconsin residents will be rooting for the Wisconsin Badgers or Marquette Golden Eagles, one game to watch will be between No. 4 Saint Louis University and No. 13 New Mexico State on March 21.
The Saint Louis Billikens will feature senior Kwamain Mitchell, a 2004 alumnus of the Padre Serra Tournament who played against Roloff’s St. Gregory the Great, Milwaukee, team.
“He was on that (Padre Serra) championship team back in 2004, that was the Mary Queen of Martyrs, (Milwaukee) team,” Roloff said. “He single handedly beat my team. My team finished second that year. I know the name Kwamain Mitchell very well because he kept me from winning the championship.”
Roloff said that was the closest he’s ever gotten to winning the tournament.
Mitchell went on to Dominican High School where he and the team won the WIAA Division III state championship in 2005.