The Cardinal Newman boys basketball team is hurting as it heads toward the start of the SCISA Region 1-3A season on Friday in Greenville against St. Joseph’s.
The Cardinals, who stand at 8-6 entering tonight’s final non-region tune-up at Florence Christian, started the season with a young, inexperienced team, and has since lost three starters to injury.
The biggest loss is senior guard Zach Hrovat, a five-year varsity starter who tore his ACL at the pre-Christmas North Central tournament and is lost for the season. Hrovat was averaging 7.4 points, 2.6 assists and 2.8 steals in the 10 games he did play before seeing his career come to a bitter, abrupt end. Junior Michael Melson is also lost for the season with a torn ACL. Senior Nick O’Rourke, a 6-3 senior forward, has been on the shelf all season with a broken foot, but could be ready to go by the end of January.
“Even with these key losses, we’ve been playing well,” said coach Kevin Rose.
With no obvious, experienced standouts carrying the load, CN has relied on balanced production to date. Senior Mike Maracich is the nominal scoring leader at 8.6 points a game and he also leads the team in 3-point field goals (24). Colburn Gatling, a 6-4 sophomore, is averaging 8.5 points and 4.3 rebounds. Timmy Cunningham, a 6-4 junior, is averaging 8.0 points, leads the team in rebounds (5.6 rpg) and is shooting 70% from the floor (49-for-70).