Remembering Joe Cascio at 9th Annual Tournament

By Quinn Padovani, Staff Writer

In the days leading up to winter break, students are generally thinking about where they are going for vacation or what they are getting for Christmas. But an annual event that is as synonymous with an FCHS winter break as Christmas is the annual Joe Cascio boys and girls basketball tournament. The holiday tournament honors one of Falls Church’s best basketball coaches, Joe Cascio, who unfortunately passed away at age 56 from complication with brain cancer.

The tournament consists of both a boys and a girls bracket. Each team is allotted three games to play over the course of the tournament, but the tournament can only be won if a team wins all three games, which is a very tough task.

On the boys side, the tournament featured very close and competitive games. In game one against Liberty, the team fumbled away a late ten point lead to lose in overtime by four. In game two, Falls Church beat Mountain View decisively by a score of 54 to 38. When asked about one his personal favorite moments in the win over Mountain View, junior Guard Caleb Botts (11) recalls, “my favorite moment of the game was when I drove into the lane and jellied on some dudes head, after I scored, I flexed on him and yelled ‘sit down boy!’ I felt like I was Kobe.” In the final game against Dominion, the Jags almost mounted an amazing comeback after being down by 15 in the final minutes, but ultimately fell short, and lost by three. The boys team finished sixth overall in the tournament, and guard Noah Strother (12) was named to the boys all tournament team.

On the girls side, the games were a bit more lopsided. In the first two games the lady Jags prevailed over Eastern and Mount Vernon by 39 and 29 respectively. For their stellar performance in the first two games, the lady Jags earned a spot in the championship game against defending tournament champions, West Potomac. The game was close throughout, but the team ultimately fell in double OT to finish as tournament runner up. When asked how she thought the team did during the tournament, guard Angelina Vo (11) stated, “throughout the tournament I think we played really well as a team because of how great our team chemistry is. Given how small our team already is, and how we were missing a few of our players for the championship game, I think everyone really stepped up and played great.” Guard Sierra Kennard (12) was also named to the girls all tournament team.

The Champions of the tournament were Centreville on the boys’ side, and West Potomac on the girls’ side. Overall, the tournament was very successful, raising a lot of money for the school and providing great entertainment for spectators, all in remembrance of the legendary boys basketball coach, Joe Cascio.