Cathedral Catholic makes Open Division playoffs in the face of adversity | Zagsblog
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Monday / April 22.
  • Cathedral Catholic makes Open Division playoffs in the face of adversity

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    By CHARLIE PARENT

    Cathedral Catholic (CA.) made the CIF Open Division Playoffs in the face of adversity.

    The Dons’ goal at the beginning of the year was to make the Open Division bracket. But, a wrench was thrown into plans after they lost leading scorer and Division I prospect Ty Ingram to a fractured ankle in the second league game. Ingram was averaging 19.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.9 steals per game.

    However, Cathedral Catholic persevered in Ingram’s absence as teammates and newcomers alike were forced to step up. The Dons ultimately finished 19-8 under first-year head coach Graham Bousley.

    “The team had a goal to make the open division and, in spite of adversity, they met that goal,” head coach Bousley said. “They approach every challenge with an underdog mentality, like it’s them against the world.”

    “Graham is an awesome guy,” former mentor and Marquette head coach Shaka Smart added. “He brings the understanding of how a high level college program is run, including how to prepare kids in his program to be successful in college.”

    The Dons face top-ranked Carlsbad in the first round of Playoffs on Saturday at 7 p.m.

    Stepping Up

    Patrick O’Brien Jr., the 6-foot-5 playmaker who plays for Gamepoint AAU in the 3SSB Addidas circuit, has taken more ownership of the team over the course of the season, now leading the Dons in almost every statistical category.

    O’Brien finished his junior regular season campaign averaging 17 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists per game. O’Brien averaged 19 points in league play, shooting 51% from the field, 40% from deep, and 94% from the line, joining the 50-40-90 club marked by some of the most efficient players in basketball.

    “Pat has stepped up and taken even more responsibility and ownership of this team,” Bousley said. “That’s exemplified by not only his numbers but how he demands the best from the team, and he won’t let the standard dip.”

    “I think I’ve been playing well but I’m not satisfied,” O’Brien said. “I think my shot has really developd, and my pull-up is dialed. We’re so locked in as a team in practice. I love our matchups right now and I think we’re set going into this [playoffs].”

    O’Brien has Division I interest from Boise State, San Diego, Idaho, Boston University Weber State, Bucknell and Princeton. He will match up with another top guard, Jake Hall of Carlsbad, Saturday.

    Steven Evans-Glynn has been another key player to step up for Cathedral Catholic. Evans-Glynn transferred from San Ysidro (CA.) mid-season, and moved residences allowing him to play.

    The 6-foot-5 guard has done a lot of the dirty work for the Dons and averages 12 points and 7 rebounds on 50% shooting. He also dropped 40 points in a game for San Ysidro earlier this year.

    “It was hard at first trying to learn everyone, how they play and the coaching style but I learned everything pretty fast,” Evans-Glynn said. “The team had done well but I knew that I really had to step up and help contribute to his [Ty’s] side of the game.”

    “Steven’s brought a ton of energy and excitement to our team,” Bousley said. “He’s bought into the dirty work and doing the little things that go into winning.”

    PJ Jourdain, a junior captain and Division I prospect, continues to fulfill his role as a starter on the team.

    Jourdain has leaned into rebounding and becoming a key factor in the transition game. The 6-foot-2 guard picked up second-team All-League after averaging 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.

    Unsung Heroes

    Aside from three key players, Cathedral Catholic has seen several contributions from a younger crowd.

    Sophomore Kai Carlson has emerged as the team’s lockdown perimeter defender, drawing the opposition’s best guard every night and consistently keeping them under their scoring average. Carlson averaged 8 points and 4 rebounds in league play, shooting 50% from the field and 44% from deep.

    “I’ve always viewed defense as the most important part of basketball,” he said. “I love playing defense and I know that If I can get my team a stop, we are going to have a lot of momentum. My mentality is to be the greatest at my role and stop whoever I’m guarding. You really have to have an execution mindset when it comes to defense.”

    Max Meza, another sophomore guard, has embraced his role starting as the team’s playmaker. Meza was a top-ranked player out of Mexico in 8th grade and ultimately finds himself starting at Cathedral Catholic two years later. He has represented the Mexican national team, playing international tournaments in Serbia.

    Meza has controlled tempo for the Dons, getting inside the paint and being very efficient. He’s averaging 6 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists on 55% shooting.

    “I bring playmaking and just trying to organize everyone on the same page,” he said. “I want to do whatever’s necessary. Other people are good at other things, and if I’m able to help them flourish at those things, then that’s what I’ll do.”

    Finally, Ryan Enos, a Grand Canyon volleyball commit. has become a dominant defensive anchor, protecting the rim and starting the break for the Dons. The big-man averages two blocks per game and will be a key X-factor in Saturday’s matchup.

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