Stritch to collaborate with local semi-pro team

Yaneek Smith

Press Sports Editor

Kids can always use a good mentor, and the Glass City Wranglers and Cardinal Stritch High School are working to make that happen.
The Wranglers, a local semi-pro basketball team that competes in The Basketball League, is collaborating with Stritch to connect its students with mentors.
“The Wranglers are excited to start this partnership with Cardinal Stritch,” said Joshua Radtkin, GCW owner. “Our athletes are very talented on the court for the game of basketball, and we also focus on player development off the court. We have a great group of players. The mentorship program that GCW offers to Stritch provides skills, training and guidance with life, career and family, as well as basketball. Cardinal Stritch is a perfect fit for GCW, and it’s a wonderful school that treats their staff, students, and alumni as family. We are honored to be part of this family and are looking forward to this amazing opportunity for growth and development together.
“There’s also a scholarship program for any young man that goes through the program and is enrolled in classes in the fall. One of the young men will get a scholarship from GCW to go towards their education,” Radtkin said.
Stritch coach Sedron Harris, now in his second season leading the Cardinals, talked about the union between the two teams.
“It’s a partnership to give our guys another opportunity to have mentorship,” said Harris. “It’s about character, commitment, communication. It’s something that’s important to their organization.
“When we began talking with the Glass City Wranglers, we realized that we had a lot of similarities with personal growth and development.”
Both parties stated that the goal was to partner with an organization where they could mutually benefit. On a side note, the Wranglers will also allow the entire Stritch high school basketball program (boys and girls) free admission to all of GCW home games at Owens Community College, starting at the end of February.
On the court, Stritch is 6-1 and 2-1 in the Toledo Area Athletic Conference.
The lone loss was to Emmanuel Christian, one of the area’s best teams, but the Cardinals were not at full strength.
“We’re in a good place, I think any coach would take that,” said Harris. “Our biggest thing is working on character, ball movement and execution. If we can do those things and not turn the ball over, we should be all right.”
The most impressive wins were a 59-39 victory over Tiffin Calvert and 62-51 triumph over Maumee Valley Country Day.
In the win over the Senecas, Breon Hicks had a game-high 19 points and Christian Burton scored 17 points. Stritch led 36-29 after three quarters but outscored Calvert, 23-10, in the fourth quarter.
Harris has some very talented basketball players, and he knows that if they play within the framework of the offense, great things could result.
“One of our biggest things has been sharing the ball, making the right read, and knowing whoever is hot is hot. That was part of our success last year, ball movement and being unselfish,” Harris said. “It’s a team effort for us.”
Harris knows playing good, hard-nosed defense will be just as, if not more important to the success of the club.
“Defense gets you on the court. As coaches, you want guys that can compete on both sides of the court — fight over ball screens, take charges, dive for loose balls,” he said. “Defense will get you far when you can’t score the basketball.”
Harris has gotten his players to buy into playing hard on that side of the court.
“Our defense is key,” said Burton. “One of our goals was to hold teams to under 45 points, and for us to do that, we have to communicate, rotate, things like that. Defense is one of the main focuses this year.”
The Cardinals, who won 20 games last season and advanced to the district finals, have a very difficult schedule. Stritch beat Paulding, 47-34, behind 21 points from Kam Hughes and 10 points from Owen Carter. The Cardinals will also play St. Marys, Rogers and Toledo Christian.
“We have one of the toughest schedules in Northwest Ohio,” Harris said. “St. Marys made it to regionals last year. It’ll be challenging. Our conference is a gauntlet, and the City League always competes well with the parochial schools.”
Burton talked about some of the goals that the team set for itself before the season.
“We set 10 goals. A couple were to win the TAAC, go undefeated, win districts, make it to state, keep our turnovers love,” he said. “Simple goals to make us a better team.”


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