High School Sports

Preview: Cardinal Newman boys basketball

After getting off to a slow start, due in large part to injuries to key players, Cardinal Newman put it all together. The Cardinals won 15 of their final 18 games, including a 3-0 sweep at the SCISA state tournament to secure their first championship since 1995.

CN, which finished with an 18-10 grade last season, returns three starters, but not all-time great Austin Ajukwa who is now playing at Clemson and steady forward Jacob August. However, the loss of the two key players could be offset by the arrival of two transfer players – forward Charles Smith and guard Steve Lake. Smith was a starter for two seasons at Keenan, averaging 11.9 points and 5.9 rebounds a year ago.

The veteran building blocks include seniors Joe Cunningham (12.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and Zakki Parker (6.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.9 spg) and junior John Ragin (8.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.1 spg).

Senior DJ Halfacre (2.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg) was also in the regular rotation at the end of last season.

With the addition of the transfer talent, Cardinal Newman figures to be in the title chase once more.