After tough Sectional loss, focus shifts to next year

Varsity basketball team will return all but three seniors


Grace Straley

The varsity team heads onto the court during the Sectional game on March 3 against Lawrence North.

The men’s basketball team’s season may have ended with a loss in the first game of the Sectional and March 3, but the Irish finished the year with an impressive 18-3 record and now can focus on getting even better next season

Head Coach Mr. Jason Delaney’s varsity team fell to Lawrence North 75-63. During the season, the team defeated Carmel 51-50 on the Greyhounds’ home court (Carmel won its Regional on March 13), lost to Gary West Side in Gary 72-63 in overtime (West Side won its Regional on March 13), took top-ranked Fort Wayne Homestead into double overtime before losing 71-65 and defeated Warren Central and won the City tournament. 

Delaney said, “We played eight Sectional champions in the state of Indiana, five Regional champions, and three out of the four finalists in (Class) 4A. We had a great regular season.”

Delaney said he hopes that the returning sophomores and juniors will build on this success next season. There were only three seniors on this year’s roster, so the team will have lots of experience returning. In fact, three of the five starters in the Sectional game will be returning next year, and nine of the 12 rostered players will be back, including junior Tayshawn Comer, who led the team in assists, and junior Jaxon Edwards, who led the team in blocks. 

Delaney said he believes that this experience will help the team, as this year’s squad had many sophomores and juniors who provided effective minutes every game. He said, “If you look at the rosters of the top programs in the 4A level, they played hardly any sophomores. But we had many that were contributors.” 

I think the experience from this year sets us up for an even stronger year going into next season.

— Head Coach Mr. Jason Delaney

The coach hopes playing one of the toughest schedules in state and competing in the most challenging Sectional in Indiana will help lead to more success, saying, “I think the experience from this year sets us up for an even stronger year going into next season.” 

Delaney is counting on these sophomores and juniors to be leaders of the team next season. He said, “I think the juniors will have the experience to lead, and I see some of our sophomores being leaders as well. People always look at age as a reason to lead, but it’s about having the heart to lead.”

The team is already focused on getting ready for next season. According to Delaney, practices will start again in April, and he hopes that there will be some added motivation from his players, who are fresh off the loss to Lawrence North. Delaney told his team after defeat, “The determination that you have from the pain you feel now will determine where we finish next year.” He has already heard from several of his players. He said, “The texts I received from some of the players made me believe, and see that they are determined to get over the hump.”

Speaking of that hump, this marks the sixth straight year the varsity has lost in the first game of the Sectional, with Sectional year in and year out ranked as the toughest in the state. The last Irish team to win a Sectional in 2013 would go on to win Regional and Semistate titles before falling to Carmel 57-53 in the title game. 

Delaney looks  forward to next season, and getting another shot at a championship. His goals are, he said,  “Play a brutal schedule, continue to get our players college opportunities, and hang the first 4A banner in boys’ basketball history here at Cathedral.”