By BRIAN CUNNIFF
Much of the conversation surrounding the Cape May Tech boys basketball team over the last four seasons started and ended with Josh Wright.
The most prolific scorer in Cape May County history, Wright helped the Hawks improve their victory total in each of his four seasons and finished his career with 2,484 points.
But with Wright now at a prep school, Cape May Tech must figure out a way to generate offense in different ways.
“We don’t have that high-scoring guy anymore,” Tech coach Josh Mercado said. “In order for us to compete, we’re going to need to have four guys (averaging) in the 10-point range. We’re going to have to play team basketball. But when you lose 2,400 points from your lineup, sure, that’s going to make a difference.”
Despite the loss of Wright, Cape May Tech still returns quite a bit of experience. Senior captains Devon Roach (6-4 F) and James Longstreet (6-3 F) have been seen a lot of varsity time over their careers, although Longstreet missed much of last season with a knee injury suffered in January.
Another returning starter is sophomore Dylan Delvecchio (6-2 F).
Other players with some varsity experience include seniors Rob Pennington (6-5 F) and Matt Carrion (5-10 G) and sophomore Kevin Castro (5-10 G).
Newcomers expected to see varsity minutes include junior Judah Thomas (6-0 F) and sophomores Tyler McDaniel (6-0 G) and David Farrow (6-0 F).
Tech enjoyed a winning season in 2018-19, finishing at 14-13. The Hawks will hope to do the same this winter, although the task is difficult considering they must face teams such as Wildwood Catholic, Pleasantville and St. Joseph twice each in Cape-Atlantic United Conference play.
“Our United division games are going to test us,” Mercado said. “Hopefully they get us stronger, so that come playoff time we’re ready to compete.”
Cape May Tech is also still searching for its first-ever state playoff victory. The Hawks are in Group I this season.
“The kids are up for the challenge,” Mercado said. “Our expectation is to make the playoffs and to try to win a game.”
Cape May Tech opens the season with a home game against Atlantic County Institute of Technology on Friday at 5:30 p.m.
Mercado is assisted by Sam Picketts, Nick DeRitis and Shane Adams, with legendary Cape May County basketball men Andy Ridgway and Joe Bimbo also occasionally lending a hand.