ALTON - The St. Mary’s Catholic School eighth-grade boys basketball team walks away from the 2022-2023 season with great memories and a regional championship as its most coveted accomplishment. St. Mary’s topped St. Boniface 39-38 to move to the state tourney play Saturday at Rend Lake.

The boys concluded their season Saturday in the Southern Illinois Junior High School Athletic Association state tournament action with a 39-28 defeat to Albers-Damiansville. The Chargers Head Coach Brandon Waters said he couldn’t be more proud of his squad for capturing the regional title and its play at state.

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Team members for St. Mary's this year were eighth-graders Jake Campbell, Chase DeRocchi, Patrick Henesey, Gus Koeller, Ethan McLeod, Alec Mohrmann, Lucas Ventimiglia, Steve Walch, Simon Waters, and Trentan Wolff. Seventh-grade team members were Cam and Chase Jones.

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“We were tied at 10-10 at the end of the first quarter and down by only six at the half,” he said of the championship game. Albers-Damiansville hit three three-pointers and that helped them to the win. I thought we played well overall and I am really happy for the kids to advance as far as they did.”

Seventh-grade twins Cam and Chase Jones, both already over 6-foot tall, were keys in the Chargers' post-season run. Waters said the two will be outstanding next year and ultimately when they play in high school.

“It was super exciting to win the regional,” Coach Waters said. “It was the first time we have played in the Southern Illinois Junior High School Association State Tournament. Our parents and fans also gave us such good support. It was a great season, overall.”

Coach Waters said every player on the Chargers' team contributed and worked hard throughout the season.

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