The Casa Grande High School boys basketball season came to an end last Friday night in the midst of a seniors celebration and a raucous crowd of high-spirited rooters.
In a game that marked the end of a trying season for Casa’s Gauchos, they lost to Cardinal Newman’s North Bay League champion Cardinals, 72-48.
Casa Grande finished 4-22 overall and 1-13 in NBL play, with several of the defeats coming by five points or less. Cardinal Newman ended the regular season at 23-3 and 12-1 in the NBL with games left in the league tourney and the North Coast Section playoffs.
Friday’s varsity game was late starting following a lengthy freshman game and a super-exciting junior varsity game that went overtime before Cardinal Newman won 52-50.
Casa also took time to honor its senior players — Frank Gawronski, Patrick Brodsky, AJ Cole, Vikram Singh, Remy Mansour and Brendan Kiernan, along with senior dance team member Madison Kenyon.
Casa coach Jake Lee started an all-senior lineup with Gawronski, one of the team’s minutes leaders, left on the bench in favor of Mansour, who had seen limited playing time throughout the season.
Gawronski was soon in the lineup, as was everyone else on the Casa Grande roster, as both teams substituted in waves beginning in the opening quarter and continuing throughout the game.
Cardinal Newman took all the suspense out of the contest early, scoring the game’s first 13 points and never trailing. When the Cardinals had their main players — Cody Baker, Damian Wallace, Gavin Dove — in the game, Casa was hard pressed to keep them away from the basket.
Mostly, the game was a chance for both teams to showcase their players.
“It was fun to get all the players into the game,” said Lee. “It was fun to see the seniors who played a lot all season set up some of their teammates to score.”
The Gauchos were so successful in that goal that 10 scored in the game.
Singh had an outstanding final game as a Gaucho, leading the team with 12 points, although, like everyone else, shared playing time. All his points came on 3-point connections.
Brodsky scored nine points, Josh Jovick seven, Cerruti four and AJ Cole, Noah Bailey, Zach Orella, Garrett Siebels and Mansour two each.
Wallace led Cardinal Newman with 16 points, with Baker scoring 14 and Trevor Smith 13.