Comets improving with every game as playoffs draw near

Published 2:29 pm Tuesday, February 15, 2022

LAPLACE — Every buzzer beater and overtime loss this season has driven the St. Charles Catholic basketball team to work harder on the court.

The Comets entered the last week of the regular season with a 15-13 record under the direction of first-year head coach Zach Weber. St. Charles Catholic is preparing to host Newman, Sarah T. Reed and Morris Jefferson during the District Tournament being held Thursday through Sunday.

“We have two games promised with a chance at three games if we win Friday in the semifinal game of our district tournament,” Weber said early this week. “This team has gotten better each day, and that all I can ask for. We will make the playoffs and will be on the road in the first round. We will see where we fall and take it from there. I can tell you that no matter where we fall, our guys will be ready to compete.”

Stepping into the role of head coach, Weber has drawn inspiration from mentors Wayne Stein, Jeff Montz and Kemper Todd. While this year’s team is young and somewhat lacking in varsity experience, Weber said the future of Comet basketball looks bright.

“This is a group that pulls for one another and works extremely hard. They have learned throughout the year just how hard winning is. With those tough losses in overtime as well as buzzer beaters, it has driven this group to work even harder,” Weber said.

As a team, St. Charles Catholic is scoring an average of 52 points per game and giving up 45 points per game. Weber pointed out that the Comets are averaging 10 to 12 more points per game this season compared to past years, a credit to the amount of work the kids put in over the summer and on mornings during the season.

“In the morning, we have optional shoot around 6:40 a.m., and they have really decided as a group to take advantage of that time to get better,” Weber said.

This year’s squad features six seniors. Even without a ton of experience, the seniors have stepped in as leaders, and their positive mindset has changed the entire program for the better.

Among this year’s leaders is senior Kobe Carter, who is averaging 14.1 points, 10.3 rebounds and one block per game.

Carter said the Comets never give up, no matter the score, and are always willing to do what it takes to win.

Carter has been playing basketball since fifth grade, and he enjoys the opportunity to spend time with his teammates. By stepping up to help more this season, Carter has shown his teammates that they can always count on him.

“My favorite memory this season was staying in the hotel when we went to a tournament in Lafayette. It felt good to do something like that again. We didn’t really get to do that last year because of COVID, so it felt good to bond with the team, win and have fun,” Carter said. “Things have been different because we’re a different team from previous years…We always said how we were going to be different and separate ourselves from the other teams.”

Next year, Carter hopes to pursue basketball in college. For now, he’s focused on finishing his senior season with a bang.

“We just have to work hard, execute and stay focused. Just go after whoever we’re matched up against in the first round,” he said.

Junior Davon Stirgus has also stepped up as a leader by bringing much-needed varsity experience to the team. Throughout the season, he’s averaged 15.5 points, 2.3 steals and four assists per game.

Stirgus said his favorite memories of the season include playing with the people he has grown up with and watched progress since middle school. His biggest accomplishment this year has been fighting through the adversity of injuries and coming back to the court to help his team win games.

His goals for the program are to see it improve year by year. As a senior next year, he hopes to become a better leader, get into the 1,000 points club, and finish his high school career with the coveted state title.

Stirgus feels confident that the Comets will do what’s needed to keep their championship dreams alive.

“This team is special because everyone has their own role on the team. This team had a lot of injuries, but we still found a way to fight through it and compete to find a way to win games,” Stirgus said.