Youth basketball celebrates 50 years of championship play

Summerville’s Lady Seahawks take on St. Mary Help of Christians during the annual tournament Feb. 21-23. (Provided)

SUMMERVILLE—Basketball teams from Christ Our King-Stella Maris School dominated the recent Diocesan Youth Basketball Tournament, winning three of the four championships.

The only thing preventing a clean sweep was St. Joseph Church in Charleston, which won the senior boys’ title.

Christ Our King-Stella Maris won the senior girls’ championship, and the titles for junior boys and junior girls.

The tournament, hosted by Summerville Catholic on Feb. 21-23, celebrated its 50th year of youth games.

Dating back to 1970, the tournament started in Charleston as a parochial contest dubbed the Charleston Deanery Basketball Championship. Interestingly, Stella Maris won the title that year, and again in 1971.

Tournament play expanded to the diocesan level in 1972. That year, winning teams from each parochial division — which at that time were Charleston, Columbia, Aiken and Greenville — competed for the title of State Parochial Champs.

Winners that year were Blessed Sacrament girls and St. Patrick boys, both from Charleston.

In 1973, the competition was opened up to any parish team that wished to play and expanded to include a junior division.

Over its 50-year history, the basketball tournament has remained a popular annual event.

Jean Fox, athletic director at Summerville Catholic, said this year it drew 56 teams from 16 schools and churches.

Participating teams came from John Paul II, Ridgeland; St. Francis, Hilton Head Island; St. Gregory the Great, Bluffton; St. Mary Help of Christians, Aiken; St. Mary and Our Lady of the Rosary, Greenville; St. Mary Magdalene Church, Simpsonville; St. Anne, Rock Hill; St. Michael, Murrells Inlet; St. Andrew, Myrtle Beach; Christ Our King-Stella Maris, Mount Pleasant; Blessed Sacrament, St. Joseph Church, Charleston Catholic and Nativity, all from Charleston; and Summerville Catholic. 

Check out the top three teams from each division, and championship photos below:

Junior Girls:

Champions: Christ Our King-Stella Maris, Bischoff  

Silver: St. Gregory the Great

Bronze: Charleston Catholic

Junior Boys:

Champions: Christ Our King-Stella Maris, Davinroy

Silver: St. Gregory the Great

Bronze: Christ Our King-Stella Maris, Couturier

Senior Girls:

Champions: Christ Our King-Stella Maris, Harnig

Silver: John Paul II

Bronze: St. Mary Magdalene Church

Senior Boys:

Champions: St. Joseph Church, Charleston 

Silver: Christ Our King-Stella Maris, Alexander

Bronze: Blessed Sacrament

Christ Our King-Stella Maris junior champs
Christ Our King-Stella Maris junior champs
Christ Our King-Stella Maris senior champs
St. Joseph Church senior champs