Cheswick Christian boys basketball headed in right direction

Wednesday, November 16, 2022 | 3:37 PM

Following a 3-11 record in the covid-shortened 2020-21 season, the Cheswick Christian boys basketball team took a step forward last season by going 7-11 and making the playoffs in the Southwest Christian Athletic Conference.

After graduating two players, the team and coach Todd Rosio want to take another step forward this season, as they’ll have a group that has had success together coming through the middle and elementary school levels on the roster.

“I think last year was sort of a stepping stone year for us,” Rosio said. “We were improved on what we were the year before, and this group is looking to take another step forward. This particular group is probably still one year young compared to where they were most successful, but we’re at that point in the cycle that when this combination of kids has played together and they have had success.”

The Chargers return three starters in senior guard Jude Vargo and junior forwards Sean Louis and Grant Rochkind.

“They’ll be three pretty important guys, for sure,” Rosio said. “Ayden Phillips is another guy that is a senior who was kind of a sixth man last year, but there’s always someone banged up, hurt, sick or whatever. So he was important and brings a lot of experience.”

Rochkind was the leading scorer on last year’s team, while Louis was second in rebounding to Zephaniah “Zooky” Malloy, who graduated. Malloy averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Chargers also lost Nick Phillips, a defensive-minded point guard, to graduation.

“Zephaniah will be tough to replace. He put up consistent stats and made a consistent impact inside,” Rosio said. “We’re going to need everyone to rebound a little more and replace him by committee. Five guys are going to have to grab two more to try and make that up.”

Vincent Gibbs, a senior who is new to the team, figures to have a role, along with freshman guards Joseph Rosio, Todd’s son, and Brady Rochkind, Grant’s younger brother. Rosio also sees juniors Brian Kazmer and Asa Boston as contributors to the success this team could have.

Harvest Baptist and Cornerstone Prep were the two schools that finished ahead of the Chargers in conference last season, while Plants and Pillars knocked the Chargers out of the playoffs.

“The ultimate goal is to be first in your section, but being better is certainly on the table,” Todd Rosio said. “They want to get into a position where we’re not getting bumped in the first round because we snuck in. We definitely want to make a deep run.”

The Chargers will start their season Dec. 2-3 at the Aquinas Academy Tip-Off Tournament.

At a glance

Last year’s record: 7-11

Returning starters: Jude Vargo (Sr., G), Sean Louis (Jr., F), Grant Rochkind (Jr., F)

Top newcomers: Vincent Gibbs (Sr., G), Joseph Rosio (Fr., G), Brady Rochkind (Fr., G)


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