As the Wisconsin temperatures start to heat up, so does the competition at the 56th annual Padre Serra basketball tournament at Mount Mary University.St. Anthony on the Lake, Pewaukee player, Jared Kalenic, goes in for a layup in the Mustangs’ upset win, 35-34, over Messmer Prep on March 6 at Mount Mary University, Milwaukee, in the first round of the Padre Serra Tournament. (Submitted photo courtesy Steve Italiano,

In the first weekend, March 6-9, 24 games were played between eighth grade boys and girls from throughout the archdiocese.

The tournament, sponsored by the Serra Club of Milwaukee, is by invitation-only for eighth grade teams and culminates with the championships on March 23. By sponsoring the tournament, the Serra Club raises awareness of vocations, and money for promotion of vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

On the boys’ side, St. Anthony on the Lake, Pewaukee, defeated Messmer Prep, Milwaukee, 35-34. The Mustangs went on to play St. Catherine/St. Rita, Racine, a number one seed, and beat them 38-33 in the first upset of the tournament.

“They’re probably the sleeper team,” Bob Roloff, Padre Serra selection committee member, said of St. Anthony. “They sneak up on a couple teams.”

St. Anthony will play the winner of St. Mary, Menomonee Falls, and St. Gabriel, Hubertus, game.

Holy Apostles, New Berlin, another number one seed, defeated Christ King, Wauwatosa, 40-27, and will play

The Padre Serra tournament takes place the weekends
of March 3-16, with final four and championship games March 20-23. For more
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Brookfield Academy, which defeated Christ Child Academy, Sheboygan, 53-17.

St. Joseph, Racine, knocked off Holy Angels, West Bend, 33-24, and will play Blessed Savior, Milwaukee, which topped Northwest Catholic, 38-19.

In a “play-in” game, St. Robert, Shorewood, upset St. Sebastian, Milwaukee, 36-27 and will take on number one seed St. Charles, Hartland.

A similar scenario played out with St. Lucy, Racine, which upset Mother of Good Counsel, Milwaukee, 33-20. The Lightning will play St. Mary, Hales Corners.

After defeating St. Kilian, Hartford, 38-30, St. Roman, Milwaukee, was bettered by number one seed St. Dominic, Brookfield, 57-10. St. Dominic will play St. Joseph (blue), Kenosha, which defeated Divine Mercy/St. Matthew, 45-38.

All Saints, Kenosha, downed St. Mary, Burlington, 42-30, but lost to Waukesha Catholic, 37-17. Waukesha Catholic will play St. Joseph (gold), which beat St. Matthias, Milwaukee, 40-30.

“Anyone can beat the other, anytime, and that’s what’s been going on this year,” Roloff said of the overall tournament season. “No one’s been dominating. Everyone has lost a game or two. Some are better than others. It all depends on who’s there for the games.”

Roloff added that the girls have been as competitive as the boys.

Down by one, but poised for an upset over Holy Family, Whitefish Bay, St. Mary, Hales Corners, hit a three-pointer with five seconds left to win, 23-21. They will face St. Dominic, Brookfield.

St. Rita/St. Catherine defeated St. Anthony on the Lake, 29-16, and will play St. Sebastian, Milwaukee.

St. Jerome, Oconomowoc, dominated St. Francis Borgia, Cedarburg, 41-16 and will meet St. Matthew/Divine Mercy.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Milwaukee, beat University School, Milwaukee, 28-5 and will play Christ King, Wauwatosa.

Encouraged by the increasing attendance at games, Roloff predicted the tournament is “going to heat up.”
He added that the large court is an “equalizer,” implying teams that play better on smaller courts might not play the same on the Mount Mary court.

Roloff expects the next few weekends to be filled with drama and great games.

“The place should be hopping,” he said.