Gesu varsity boys basketball wins one for Emily

Front row (left to right): P.J. Volpe, Johnny Gannon, Ethan Barham, Tyler Delhees, Julian Alston and Michael Volpe.

Back row: Coach Bill Kern, Coach Matt Salata, John Cirillo, Emmett Rhoa, Jacob Turay, Coach Brian McLaughlin and Coach Chris Salata.

Photo by Julie Gannon.


On Sunday March 7, in front of a capacity crowd at John Carroll University, the Gesu School varsity boys' basketball team defeated St. Gabriel (Concord Township), 34–19, to win the 2010 CYO Diocesan Championship.

Gesu avenged its only loss of the season, a 30–22 defeat at the hands of the Grizzlies in early December. The Bulldogs fed off the energy from the "Gesu Gold Rush" crowd and took a 20–8 lead at halftime behind the long-range shooting of Johnny Gannon.

St. Gabe's closed the margin to five, midway through the third quarter, before the Bulldogs turned up the pressure to put the game away. Gesu's tenacious defense and rebounding held St. Gabriel to only one point in the fourth quarter.

In what was perhaps its best team effort all season, Julian Alston led six Gesu scorers with nine points. Ethan Barham was a force on the glass with eight rebounds and some timely putbacks. John Cirillo's interior presence (and three blocked shots) and Jacob Turay's lockdown defense of Grizzlies' star point guard, Trevor Boslett, were also big factors in the win. The team finished the season with a 25–1 record, including three additional tournament championships: St. Gregory, Holy Family (Stow), and the Gesu Morrissey Classic.

This is the fourth city title for coaches Chris Salata and Brian McLaughlin, who started coaching at the school in 2000. It is the school's 10th boys' basketball championship.

The win was even more special as the team had dedicated its season to Emily Lippert. Emily, a 15-year-old freshman at Beaumont School for Girls and a Gesu basketball alum, died unexpectedly in January of this year. In Lippert’s honor, the team wore black wristbands featuring her nickname, "Lippy."

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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 8:40 AM, 03.22.2010