Posted On: 11/28/18 3:57 PM

The CYO Tournament is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the New Orleans metro area during the season and primarily hosts some of the area’s historically rich Catholic League teams. This year the field has been broken up into four pools with three teams, and the winner of each group will advance to the semifinals of the tournament.

The semifinals will tip off Friday (Nov. 30) at 6 and 7:30 p.m. while the championship takes place on Saturday at 7 p.m. All three games will be at Jesuit.

Pool A (Slidell, Curtis, Shaw)

Slidell should be the favorite in this pool with most of their better players returning from last year. 2019 G Tylor Harris can heat up in a hurry and he has two other solid guards next to him in 2019s Jonathan Merriman and Trey Davis along with 2019 F Kolbe Warren. The Tigers won their first five games of the season before losing to Destrehan, 55-54, on Monday.

Slidell faces Curtis Wednesday at 6 p.m. and that matchup should decide the winner of the pool. Curtis already defeated a young and improving Shaw team, 57-41, on Tuesday and Slidell is likely to do the same.

Curtis currently is currently 3-2 and has one of the city’s best shooters in 2019 G Andrew Stagni. He’s had a strong start to the season including an All-Tournament team selection in he Lusher Tournament.

Pool B (St. Stanislaus, Jesuit, Fontainebleau)

Jesuit absolutely dominated St. Stanislaus (MS) in the first game of Pool A winning, 82-38. The Blue Jays are now a heavy favorite in Pool B as Fontainebleau is still without a win through seven games this season. Elijah Morgan has been the top player for Jesuit (5-0) and had a 30-point game against Zachary last Wednesday.

Pool C (De La Salle, St. Thomas Aquinas, Rummel)

De La Salle is the top contender here and they opened up Pool B play with a 60-43 win over Rummel on Tuesday. The Cavaliers have now won three straight games since starting the season with losses to Dunham (73-67) and Holy Cross (63-46). DLS should be in line for another good season led by 2020 Gs Abiram Frye, Jalen Ned, John Kelly and 2021 PG Jakobe Walker. Rummel and St. Thomas Aquinas are both winless so far at 0-6 and 0-4.

Pool D (Holy Cross, Newman, St. Paul’s)

Holy Cross will be the top team in Pool D after defeating Newman, 58-38, Tuesday night at De La Salle. 2019 G Tyler Beaver, 2019 G Kalil Thomas and 2020 C Aaron Ursin all scored in double figures in a balanced effort for the 5-1 Tigers. Newman 2021 G Javon Ruffin made a case for the state’s best player in his class with 29 points including two 3-pointers while going 10-of-13 at the stripe with eight boards.

CYO Semifinals/Championship Prediction

If the aforementioned predictions hold to form, Slidell will match up with Jesuit while De La Salle will face Holy Cross. The latter two teams have already met this season and the Tigers thoroughly handled that contest as previously mentioned. I would expect the game to be a bit tighter this time around as De La Salle only made two 3-pointers in that meeting. The Tigers, however, have been playing at a high level and I would still give them the edge.

Jesuit relies fairly heavily on Morgan for scoring but Slidell can get contributions from a variety of players which should give them the upper-hand in this game.

A Slidell-Holy Cross pairing would be an interesting championship matchup between two teams with similar talent. Holy Cross has been tested a bit more so far this season, though, and I think they’ll be further along than Slidell which should net them this year’s CYO title.