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Donovan Catholic expects to apply pressure to division opponents in the B South

Donovan Catholic High School will present plenty of fight and determination  this boys’ basketball season.

That is the prediction from the team’s coach, Mike Kearney.

“This team will be scrappy. Not very big. I expect that this team will play hard every game. This is a very good group of players,” Kearney said.

He said that his squad will be to force the issue.

“We will pressure up more on defense. We have really good depth at the guard position. So we are really going to give everyone a chance to get tired,” Kearney said.

Senior Matt Melon will be looked to as a major contributor for this team.

“He was one of our most affective players as a sophomore. If he is healthy the contributions will start with him,” Kearney said.

Senior Glenn Swanson will also be looked to as a leader for this team.

“He just knows how to play and he will be a good leader for this team as well,” Kearney said.

A year ago, Melon averaged 9.7 points per game and 3.1 rebounds. Swanson finished last winter with averages of 4.5 points and 1.2 rebounds.

In the 2017-18 season, Donovan Catholic finished 8-15 overall and 7-8 in the Shore Conference Class B South Division.

In the first round of Non-Public A state tournament, Donovan Catholic was eliminated by Bishop Eustace Prep High School, 71-26. Bishop Eustace then lost in the quarterfinals to St. Joseph Regional High School of Metuchen, 55-53.

“We will definitely be relying on guys this season who have no played a lot varsity minutes. Junior Neithan Ramos is guard who has impressed me from this offseason and practice. He is a good guard. Senior Isaiah Ulep is newcomer who has played very well. We will also have a few freshmen I think we are going to play,” Kearney said.

He said he would like his team to compete for the B South division title.

“My hope and expectation is that we will be very difficult to play against. This team is going to be aggressive and hopefully talented,” Kearney said.

He also said that this group will have a more balanced offense, where there will be a different player stepping up each and every game.

“This is the most wonderful time of the year. The player’s attitudes have been great and they are great to be around. This team is really working hard, Kearney said.

Donovan Catholic will play its first game of the season on the road on Dec. 14 against Pinelands Regional High School. Tip off in Tuckerton is set for 6:30 p.m.

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