Cathedral High School Home of the Fighting Irish

Basketball (Boys Varsity) Cathedral High School

Season Review: Boys Basketball

By Tyler McClure | Mar 12, 2024 11:41 AM

They grew up in a big way and did so in difficult circumstances. The Irish gained big-time experience along the way. Cathedral High Schol boys basketball also won a lot of big games and maintained its status among Indiana’s elite teams – and that made 2023-2024 an important season for the Irish. The program’s goals are high every year, and the Irish continued reaching them in ’23-24. “In my 20 years being a head coach, this is one of my favorite teams,” Jason Delaney said. The Irish, in Delaney’s eighth season as head coach, finished the 2023-2024 season 18-6. They lost in the Class 4A, Section 10 championship game, 75-61, to Lawrence North after leading by five points at halftime. They also finished as the runner-up in the City Tournament, losing the title game to Attucks, 71-68. The sectional loss was disappointing. Delaney said it also could be a key step in the team’s development. “Lawrence North is extremely talented,” Delaney said. “They have Division I guys lining that roster. In Section 10, you have to put 32 minutes together and we didn't do that. They (Lawrence North) had experience and we gained it this year. “Very few young guys play in that sectional. The teams that won have experience. You can talk about it as much as you want, but until you step on that stage it's different. That's part of the maturation process. We have some really good freshmen and so they were able to get that experience. We expect a really, really good year next year.” The Irish, who went 8-6 following a 10-0 start in 2023-2024, finished the season ranked No. 7 in the Class 4A Associated Press rankings and Indiana Basketball Coaches Association rankings with a young team that started no seniors. “It seemed once we went to Providence (a 48-47 loss in the 11th game of the season) and we had injuries, we just never got back to that point of playing that well,” Delaney said. The ’23-24 Irish were led by: *Brady Koehler, junior forward: 15.5 points per game, 6.5 rebounds per game. He is expected to play on the NIKE circuit this summer and already has offers from Wake Forest and Notre Dame. *Keaton Aldridge, sophomore guard: 15.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg. *Lebron Gaugh, junior point guard: 8.2 ppg, 4.4 assists per game. *Deric Cannaday, junior guard: 9.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg. *Sheldon Gatlin, senior: 7.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg. *Anthony Fields, senior guard: 6.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg. *Aidan Hughes, junior: 8.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg. *Albren Johnson, junior: 2.1 ppg, .7 rpg. *Cash Daniels, freshman point guard: 1.7 ppg, .9 apg. *Skylar Rodgers, freshman: 1.0 ppg, .2 rpg. *Owen Peterson, freshman: .5 ppg. “They were fun, they were coachable, they did everything that was asked of them,” Delaney said of the Irish. Delaney, too, said the Irish’s senior class showed leadership and perseverance that symbolized a strong, resilient program. Senior Emmett Hern sustained a broken arm four games into the season, returning to play in the sectional tournament and converting a three-point field goal in the final. Fields contributed in a big way after sustaining two torn anterior cruciate ligaments in high school. “Both of them – with the perseverance of how to tackle injuries and how to keep a positive attitude throughout it all and the contribute when it was your time … that will stand out to me,” Delaney said. Gatlin, too, flourished as a senior after playing sparingly behind veteran players early in his career. “Those three guys have done a great job for us,” Delaney said. The seniors will leave a program that in recent seasons has emerged as one of Indiana’s power teams, having won the Class 4A state title in 2022 and winning a second consecutive sectional title in 2023. That the Irish maintained that place among the state’s top programs with largely underclassmen-based team was significant, Delaney said. “It's tougher tough to get there and it's even tougher to stay there,” Delaney said. The season also set the tone for what Delaney said should be a solid future as the Irish seek to continue a strong recent past with an equally strong future. “With next year's crop, we’ll be really good, too,” he said. “People want to come here because of the education and people want to be part of this program as well. We showed we're not going anywhere. We're going to be here year after year.”

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