The 7th Grade boys’ gold team from Our Lady of the Wayside in Arlington Heights won the Northwest Catholic Conference championship Sunday at Saint Viator High School with a resounding offensive performance, winning 55-40 over the Eagles of St. Francis De Sales School in Lake Zurich.
The Cats jumped out to a 16-8 first quarter lead with a barrage of scoring led by 14 first quarter points by Drew Heiss, and they never looked back.
The Cats, led by Heiss, Jimmy Doherty and Andrew McKenna, continued the offensive assault with an 18-point second quarter to lead, 34-17 going into halftime.
“The offensive performance was one of the best I’ve seen,” said longtime Coach Larry Perkins. “Just scoring 34 points in the first half, was a first for a 7th Grade game that I’ve coached”
Joe Maloney left the game with a sprained ankle early in the game but came back in the second half to lead the rebounding, along with Anthony Pretto and Ben Greismeyer.
“Danny Quick and Pat Schrader were outstanding in the first half running the offense at point guard,” said Coach Steve Daday, “while Andrew McKenna and Colin Kochera added great defensive pressure.”
The third quarter provided some tense moments for the fans as the Eagles cut the lead to 6, but Drew Heiss regained his shooting touch and Pat Schrader scored on a 3-point play and followed up with a short jumper and free throw to seal the victory.
Heiss led all scorers with 34 points in the game and the Cats came away with another hard-fought championship. Fr. Ed Fialkowski, pastor, congratulated the team on winning the trophy.
“I am really proud of our effort and the character of the team throughout the season,” Coach Daday said. “I also want to thank my former players, Ryan Flynn, Casey Pulikowski and Bobby Douglas for coming and sharing inspiring words to the team before the game”