LAFAYETTE – new roster. new head coach. new season.
The 2022-23 men’s basketball campaign didn’t start the way Central Catholic hoped.
First-year head coach Drake Barrett assured the Knights would stick to the process.
The players say CC’s fortunes are changing after beating McCutcheon 64-54 at the McHale Gymnasium on Friday night.
“Throughout the game, we started to get along better,” said junior center Albert Schwartz, who had 27 points and 13 rebounds on Friday. “We are starting to click and play as a team rather than isolating individuals.”
The Knights won three of their final four games in Tuesday’s 51-44 loss at the Western, taking their season record to five wins and five.
“Our footballers are still finding their feet in the sea. They’ve had a long season. We’ve infuriated a lot of our players,” Barrett said. “We’ve had a month and a half to really get used to the running flow, and now that we’ve gotten used to running defense and moving the ball the way we want to, we’re starting to play better.
“The other day we lost to the Westerns, but I felt like I was at that ball game and I probably should have won.”
Schwartz is not surprised.
He claims to have seen this coming.
Others thought so too.
Schwartz is one of three returning starters from last year’s runners-up side, along with senior guards Ben Mazer and Tanner Fields. Current starter Nick Page was a key his reserve last season.
“Experience is huge for us,” said Fields, who scored 24 points against McCutcheon. “A game like this is easy to get into your head and not play well.
But that’s what CC had to recognize.
Last year’s team is not this year’s team.
Two of CC’s best players from last season have graduated.
There was a mistake the Templars were able to get away with a year ago.
Two halves flattened, a first half against the Culver Military and a second half against the Fort Wayne Blackhawks, which helped explain the back-to-back losses with a total of 58 points.
It was bad before it was good.
“Our team finally realized that we weren’t the kind of team we were last year where you could get in and mess around and beat the team,” Schwartz said.
We didn’t get to play against our county rivals on Friday night.
McCutcheon had three players in double figures: Keaton Maple, Landon Welts and Eli Swank.
However, the Mavericks failed to give Schwartz an answer early on, and the Knights put up a 16-for-2 performance, arcing against the Westerns with a 3-of-16 success.
When the season began, CC was adjusting to a first-time national team head coach, a slew of additions from section championship football teams that weren’t yet basketball-ready, and a stretch of three games a week during the Hoops Classic. I was.
The Knights dropped two games during that span to West Lafayette and Lafayette Jeff by seven points each.
“If I can have a full week of calmness, I think I’ve made my progress and I think my players have made their progress,” Barrett said. I am learning my strengths and what I need to do. Hopefully we can continue the little momentum we’ve gained. ”
Sam King covers sports in the Journal & Courier. Email email@example.com and follow him on Twitter and his Instagram. @Samuel King.