The second weekend of the 56th annual Padre Serra tournament had some heart pounding finishes, but for the most part all of the highly ranked teams advanced to the championship weekend March 20-24.
Then there’s St. Anthony, Pewaukee. After defeating St. Catherine, Milwaukee, the week before in overtime,the Mustangs went into double overtime against St. Mary, Menomonee Falls.
“St. Mary’s, Menomonee Falls, played a really good game,” Bob Roloff, tournament committee member said. “It could’ve gone either way. Both teams had chances to win in regulation and in the first overtime.”
But St. Anthony won, 44-41. The Mustangs will play St. Charles, Hartland, on Friday. The Crusaders defeated St. Leonard, Muskego, 39-37.
“(The St. Anthony Mustangs) are a sleeper team,” Roloff said. “They’re better than what they looked like during the season.”
Holy Apostles, New Berlin, edged Brookfield Academy 42-38 and will play Blessed Savior, Milwaukee, who defeated St. Joseph, Racine, 43-27.
St. Dominic, Brookfield, dominated St. Joseph (blue), Kenosha, 55-23, advancing to take on St. Mary, Hales Corners, a 29-18 winner over St. Jude, Wauwatosa.
After defeating St. Charles, Burlington, 57-44, St. John Vianney will play Waukesha Catholic, who beat St. Joseph (gold), Kenosha, 42-34.
On the girls’ side, Lumen Christi, Mequon, defeated St. Mary, Elm Grove/St. Joseph, Wauwatosa, 25-21, and will play St. Matthias, Milwaukee, who defeated Brookfield Academy, 36-17.
St. Leonard, Muskego, topped St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Sheboygan, 32-21, and will face St. Dominic, Brookfield, a 33-11 winner over St. Mary, Hales Corners.
St. Charles, Hartland earned a close victory over St. Frances Cabrini, West Bend, 27-23 and will play Christ King, Wauwatosa, who bettered St. Thomas Aquinas, Milwaukee, 25-9.
St. Sebastian, Milwaukee, emerged with a 29-25 win over St. Rita/St. Catherine, Racine. They will take on St. Matthew/Divine Mercy, a 34-21 victor over St. Jerome, Oconomowoc.
“All (remaining teams) are one and two seeds except St. Anthony,” Roloff said, adding that St. Anthony is a number eight. “Most of the games are still a game; most of them, not all of them, are still a game going late into the third quarter or early fourth quarter.”
Roloff believes the way the tournament has played out validates the committee’s selection process in evaluating the best teams.
“You have to come and win,” he said. “If you think you’re that good, you have to come and win.”
And the crowds have appreciated the effort, he said.
“The kids have had a lot of fun, lots of cheering,” he said. “It’s so noisy in there with these close games you can’t even hear yourself think.”
Roloff said he expects the final weekend to be “rocking” especially because the remaining teams know each other the best.
“That’s one thing people don’t understand, they go through the whole season,” Roloff said. “You play hard but there’s no way that you play as hard as you do when you come to play in the Padre Serra Tournament. These kids are diving all over the place, giving 110 percent.”