The St. Charles Preparatory School basketball team is hoping to show Ready how much it has improved since a 42-19 loss to the Silver Knights on Dec. 13.
Since that setback, the Cardinals have adjusted their offense and won six of nine games. They are 7-5 overall and 3-2 in the CCL entering their rematch with the Knights on Friday, Jan. 24, at Ready.
St. Charles has averaged 57.7 points in the nine games since the Ready loss, after averaging 31.3 points in its first three contests. The Cardinals also took defending Division II state champion Watterson -- which last week was ranked fifth in the state -- to overtime before losing 57-55 on Jan. 3.
"We were 7-for-40 shooting (17.5 percent) against Ready. We had more shots than (the Knights) did, but our offense needed some changes," coach Jacob Daniel said. "Probably the biggest change was moving Matt Hennessey from the post to point guard. That really has changed things for us."
Hennessey, a 6-foot-5 senior who is the Cardinals' tallest player, has worked on his ball-handling skills to transition to the backcourt. The team entered the season looking to replace NiQuille Bell, a junior point guard who was first-team all-league last season but broke a leg during football season.
"I don't know if (Hennessey) has ever played the point before, maybe in youth basketball," Daniel said. "But once we put Matt out on the point, we were able to push the ball up the court."
Another key has been strong play from 6-4 junior Sean Hennessey, who averages 12.2 points and has made 22 3-pointers in the past nine games.
"Sean is finally in basketball shape," Daniel said. "He lost 24 pounds of football blubber and now can dunk the ball and his jump-shot has come back."
David Aslaner and Nick Pappa, both 6-0 junior guards, also have been key ingredients in the surge. Pappa has averaged 14.2 points since Dec. 13 with 30 3-pointers, and Aslaner has averaged 6.8 points with 14 3s in that span.
"David and Nick had limited varsity experience before this season, but they really have gained a lot of confidence," Daniel said.
On Jan. 17, the Cardinals defeated DeSales 62-51 in CCL play. Pappa scored 21 points on seven 3-pointers and Sean Hennessey also had 21 points. Matt Hennessey added 11 points.
Rooney leads wrestlers at CIT
Junior Tim Rooney placed fourth at 138 pounds for the wrestling team in the Catholic Invitational Tournament held Jan. 18 and 19 at Cleveland State.
Rooney was three wins from 100 career victories before his consolation final Jan. 19 against Newark Catholic's Evan Hansel, who won 3-2. The junior was 97-13 overall in his two-plus seasons.
Also competing were Cole Delaney (152, 1-2), Kit McDonald (220, 1-2), Will Somodi (195, 0-2), Nick Valin (160, 0-2), Will Whalen (132, 1-2), Danny Wolfe (120, 1-2) and Lee Zurcher (145, 2-2).
On Jan. 22, the sixth-seeded Cardinals competed against third-seeded Olentangy Orange in Region 5-B of the Division I state team tournament. The winner faced second-seeded and host Delaware or seventh-seeded Westerville Central after the first dual.
The second-round winner advanced to a regional semifinal Wednesday, Jan. 29, at site to be determined against top-seeded Westerville North, fourth-seeded Olentangy, fifth-seeded Upper Arlington or eighth-seeded Whetstone.
"We have a pretty full schedule from here on out," coach Joe Moyer said. "We (had) the CIT and the state duals. Now we go to (the) Westerville South (Duals on Saturday, Jan. 25) followed by the CCL (tournament Feb. 1 at home) and then the home (Nye Cardinal Invitational on Feb. 8) after that. Before you know it, we'll be at sectional."
Hockey team wins tourney
The hockey team was ranked second in the district behind Orange and eighth in the state behind top-ranked Cleveland St. Ignatius last week.
The Cardinals were 22-3-2 overall after tying fifth-ranked Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit at 1 on Jan. 19 in that team's MLK Tournament at Kent State. St. Charles won the tournament based on points.
On Jan. 18 in the tournament, St. Charles defeated sixth-ranked Parma Heights Holy Name 5-2 and Gates Mills Gilmour Academy 3-2. Against Holy Name, Aaron Bowman, Jack Cleary, Clayton Klosz, Daniel Schirtzinger and Jacob Weikert all scored.
Weikert scored three times in a 5-3 win over Culver (Ind.) Academy on Jan. 17 in the tournament. Ryan Cleary and Klosz both had one goal.
Swimmers aim for 16th consecutive CCL title
The swimming and diving team will be seeking its 16th consecutive CCL title when the meet begins Thursday, Jan. 23, with the diving portion at Columbus School for Girls. The swimming events are Saturday, Jan. 25, at St. Charles.
Last season, the Cardinals won the CCL meet with 417 points, finishing ahead of Hartley (234), Watterson (190), DeSales (174) and Ready (8). Senior Max Penn won the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 7.47 seconds) and junior Michael Ritchey won the 100 breaststroke (1:06.81).
St. Charles also finished first in a pair of relays -- the 200 freestyle relay (1:34.66) of sophomore Austin Beam, senior Sam Aslaner, Ritchey and junior Tyler Welty and the 400 free relay (3:30.13) of sophomores Nicholas Eramo and Derek Nguyen and 2013 graduates Alex Kendall and Carl Calcara.
Bowling team earns two wins
The bowling team was 6-2 overall and in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-Central Division before facing Hartley on Jan. 22.
Wyatt Beltz was medalist with a 436 series (242 high game) as the Cardinals defeated Watterson 2,058-1,780 on Jan. 13 at Sawmill Lanes. David Downey had a 371 series with a 201 high game and Daniel Munsell added a 328 series with a 199 high game.
Ryan Siesel was medalist with a 344 series (174 high game) in a 1,941-1,528 win over Beechcroft on Jan. 15 at Sequoia Pro Bowl. Noah Thomas had a 342 series with a 179 high game and Downey had a 326 series with a 173 high game.