Early injuries hamper boys basketball team The return of 6-foot-4 senior forward Austin Roden from injury helped the Delaware Christian High School boys basketball team halt a three-game losing streak to open the season.
Roden, who was second-team all-district and second-team all-MOCAL last season, scored a game-high 17 points in a 50-45 win over Northside Christian on Dec. 16.
The Eagles are 1-5 overall after losing to Patriot Academy 53-50 on Dec. 20 and Madison Christian 69-42 on Dec. 21.
"We only had two of the expected starters (6-9 junior center Ben Evans and 6-3 sophomore guard Wesley Blakemore) play the first three games," third-year coach Matt Moore said.
"MacGregor Roberts transferred after last school year. Brock Bishop was injured during the soccer season, tried to return and was reinjured in our third scrimmage. He could be lost for the season. Austin Roden was injured right before the first game and we're glad to have him back."
Blakemore, Evans and Roden are joined in the starting lineup by senior guard Matt Cellar and sophomore guard Gabe Hedges.
Evans, who was second-team all-district and honorable mention all-league last season, had seven points, 17 rebounds and nine blocked shots against Northside Christian.
Senior guard Michael Hsu also has seen plenty of action for the Eagles, whose roster also includes sophomores Drew Gaudio (guard) and Drew Sedoti (6-2, forward) and freshman Austin Evans (6-0, forward).
"We are a very young team in terms of experience, so it could take us awhile to learn how to play together," Moore said. "We knew we'd have some trouble replacing (2013 graduate) Pete Kerins at point guard because those are big shoes to fill. But with the injuries we've had, we have some people who don't normally handle the ball much doing a lot more ball-handling.
"Getting Roden back seemed to settle everyone down a bit, so we're going forward with a goal of improving and preparing for the postseason."
Kerins averaged 10.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, four assists and three steals last season and was first-team all-district and all-league.
Last season, Delaware Christian went 12-12 overall and 5-7 in the MOCAL to place fourth, behind Fairfield Christian (12-0), Gahanna Christian (16-8) and Tree of Life (8-4) and ahead of Grove City Christian (4-8), Granville Christian (3-8) and Madison Christian (0-11). Fairfield Christian and Grove City Christian are no longer in the MOCAL.
The Eagles lost to top-seeded Africentric 55-38 in a Division IV district semifinal a year ago after beating Millersport 88-52 in the second round.
Delaware Christian opened with losses to Mansfield Temple Christian (66-46 on Dec. 7), Gahanna Christian (67-28 on Dec. 9) and Grandview (63-38 on Dec. 14).