St. Maximilian Kolbe, West Chester, finished a perfect season with a 58-53 win over parochial powerhouse St. Andrew’s, Newtown, to win its first boys archdiocesan Catholic Youth Organization basketball championship March 9 in front of a capacity crowd at Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster.

(See a photo of the girls CYO basketball state champion, St. Anastasia of Newtown Square.)

The victory capped an undefeated season and put the St. Maximilian Cardinals in the CYO state championship, which will be held over the March 22 weekend in Pittsburgh.

“I could not be more proud of these boys,” said St. Maximilian coach Neale Boyle. “They were able to dig deep in every one of our close games this year and hold off some strong competition. The character they revealed will serve them very well in life.”

St. Maximilian raised its record to 35-0, which included first-place finishes in all five of the tournaments the team played in this season, including the acclaimed St. Helena’s tournament, which features the best teams in the 150+ team archdiocesan league.

The team was led by Nick Alikakos, the eighth-grade center who has the ability to dunk as well as shoot jump shots, scored 30 points in the archdiocesan finals. He was named to the All-Archdiocesan team.

The team’s four other starters include Tim Durant, Michael Kempski, Andrew Pinto and Tommy Wolfe. Other team members include Kevin Boyle, Bill Covert, Sean King, Michael Leonard, Brian Murphy, Pat Oswald, Conor Reagan and Harrison Wrenn. In addition to Boyle, the coaching staff includes Matt Lott, Dan Meehan and Jim Reagan.

The Pennsylvania CYO State Tournament features the champion from each of the state’s eight dioceses. St. Maximilian, representing Philadelphia, opens up on Friday, March 22 against St. Thomas More of Allentown, who was the winner from the Diocese of Allentown.

For more information, contact Jeff Long, athletic director of St. Maximilian Kolbe CYO, at or 267-970-8590.