Cathedral High School Home of the Fighting Irish

Basketball (Boys Varsity) Cathedral High School

Season Update: Boys Basketball

By Tyler McClure | Jan 19, 2024 3:38 PM


They’re good – really good. And if Cathedral High School boys basketball is better in 2023-2024 than some observers originally expected, expectations matter less to Jason Delaney than this reality: This version of the Irish is a special group with a chance for a special season. “They’re an absolute blessing to coach,” Delaney said. The Irish, No. 6 in the Class 4A Associated Press rankings and No. 5 in the Class 4A Coaches rankings in mid-January, started the season 10-0 and were 10-1 following a 48-47 loss to Guerin Catholic January 13. Their first 10 victories all were by double digits. “This group, they just play hard and they play together and they really like each other and off the floor,” Delaney said. “You don't see any like cliques. You don't see this group over here, this group over there. They're always all together. That's the beauty of everything. “It's neat to see how they rally around each other. It's neat to see how they lift each other as well.” The Irish in recent seasons have emerged as a perennial state power, winning the past two Class 4A, Section 10 titles. They won the Class 4A state title in 2022 and lost to eventual state champion Ben Davis in a Class 4A regional playoff last season. That the Irish lost multiple players from those teams and continue to compete at the state’s highest level is impressive. Their approach this season is equally so. “They play hard, extremely hard,” said Delaney, in his eighth season as the Irish’s boys basketball coach. “They move the basketball. They make people want to root for them because of the way they play the game.” The ’23-24 Irish are a young team with multiple underclassmen who played various roles on talented, experienced Irish teams in recent seasons. All but one key contributor has been in the program since his freshman season, with Delaney estimating that 95 percent of the Irish’s scoring last season did not return. “These guys had waited their turn,” Delaney said. “We knew what we had coming back. If you weren't in practice every day, you didn't really see it. It has been neat to have some of the people who have watched Cathedral basketball for years and years talk about how much they enjoy watching this group of kids play. “The other positive is we basically return the core next year. This is not just a one-year run at things. This is a multi-year run.” The ’23-’24 Irish are led by: *Brady Koehler, junior forward: 18 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game. “He’s kind of exploded onto the scene; he was just stuck behind some really good players,” Delaney said of the 6-feet-9 Koehler, who has been offered by Notre Dame and Butler. *Keaton Aldridge, sophomore guard: 15.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg. “He has a motor that never quits,” Delaney said. “He’s a very talented kid who can play every position.” *Lebron Gaugh, junior point guard: 10.2 ppg, 4.9 assists per game. “He’s really made a huge jump at the point-guard position,” Delaney said. *Deric Cannaday, junior guard: 9.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg. *Sheldon Gatlin, senior: 7.1 ppg, 1.3 rpg. *Anthony Fields, senior guard: 5.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg. “He’s had two ACL tears, but waited his time and now he’s contributing,” Delaney said. *Aidan Hughes, junior: 5.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg. “He leads the team in charges taken,” Delaney said. “There’s just a toughness about him.” *Albren Johnson, junior: 1.4 ppg, .5 rpg. *Cash Daniels, freshman point guard: 1.7 ppg, .6 apg. *Skylar Rodgers, freshman: 1.2 ppg, .3 rpg *Owen Peterson, freshman: 1.0 ppg. “We have five guys on the floor at all times who are very versatile,” Delaney said. “There’s a toughness they play with, especially defensively. They get up and pressure. They can guard all five positions. They can all handle the basketball. “They just come to work every day. We don't have drama. They just come to work and the practices are highly competitive. They get after each other, they challenge each other. It's almost like a game sometimes in the practices. They get after it.” That’s an ethic and approach that has been built by past Cathedral teams that is being seen in the present and is carrying into the future, with four freshman and a sophomore starting for a strong junior varsity team in ’23-24. “We really believe in developing the guys that we have here,” Delaney said. “It goes back to the state championship team. Every member of that team was here for four years. In the time of a transfer portal, even in high school, we would rather have four-year guys who come up through the program than anything else. “There’s a culture now. We’ve got it to where now we have leaders when these new freshmen come in and it is passed down. We have a culture and a program. We're not trying to build year by year.”

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