Maybe former Weber star Kevin Geredine can change the fortunes of Public League basketball on the North side. Geredine is currently the assistant basketball coach at Mather.
Foreman, Taft, Steinmetz, and Von Steuben have advanced to the city semifinals, but no team from this area has won the Public League championship since Roosevelt in 1952. In fact, the last time a team from the North side advanced to the championship game was Lake View in 1954.
Mather head varsity basketball coach Glen Heffernan resigned after posting 50 wins over the past two seasons.
Geredine is trying to help the Rangers recover from a 2-8 start.
Gordon(5-5) beat Mather(2-8) 53-22 on Wednesday night at the Luther North tournament. The Rangers struggled in the loss missing their first seven shots at the basket and finished the contest shooting only 7-of-42.
Geredine played at Weber while Gordon head coach Shay Boyle was on the sophomore squad for the Red Horde.
“He’s got a great basketball mind,” Boyle said of his former classmate. “He has great experience. He’s worked hard to get back into the game. He’s a wonderful guy. He’s one of my favorite high school players ever. He’s one of the most underrated players in state history when he was at Weber.”
“I’m just trying to get a little more experience,” admitted Geredine who currently works as a barber.
Boyle enjoyed the days when Weber faced Gordon in Catholic League play.
“There was nothing like a Weber-Gordon game on a Friday night,” said Boyle who played at Weber and was an assistant basketball coach at Loyola University after graduating from Notre Dame.
Mather has six underclassmen as the Rangers fell behind 23-3 after the opening quarter and trailed 44-8 at halftime.
“I wouldn’t say embarrassed(by the loss),” stated Geredine after the loss. “I would say it’s lack of experience(with our team). We have a group of guys that haven’t played high school basketball. They played in grammar school. We are still trying to find our identity.”
“We played a tremendous defensive first half,” Boyle said after the win.
The Rangers lost all five starters from a 25-win club so some rebuilding was expected.
Gordon is on the verge of playing for the championship at Luther North after beating Mather. Jerry Davis led the Rams with 11 points while Devanchey Bell added 10 points for Gordon who made 19-of-40 shots.
The Rams need a victory over Chicago Academy(8-3) to advance to the finals on Friday night against Taft(8-5) or Maine East(4-7).
“Tonight is a huge night,” said Boyle. “We always play well in tournaments. I think we are 10-3 all-time (at Luther North). We love playing in this gym. We are not looking forward to anything else but playing Chicago Academy.”
“I think they have a pretty good team,” Geredine said in appaising the Rams. “They are disciplined.”
Gordon won the Consolation title at Luther North last season.
“We have a young team,” Geredine said of the Rangers who have won the Luther North tournament the last two years. “I think the problem is they don’t trust each other. We play hard. We don’t trust each other-that’s the bottom line.”
The bottom line for the Rams is just find a way to beat Chicago Academy.