Charlie Gordinier is a fine athlete.
The Red Bank Catholic High School junior plays tight end on the school’s football team and point forward on its boys’ basketball team.
He is getting recruited to play collegiate football by Division 1 programs, including Rutgers University, Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh.
But more importantly for the Red Bank boys’ basketball team, Gordinier is also a great hoops player. The 6-5, 220-pound dynamo is not just athletic. He is very skilled.
Gordinier creates offense by handling, passing, finishing inside and shooting from outside. He is also a lockdown defender and tenacious rebounder.
The junior’s football hands help him grab boards cleanly. After all, it is much harder to catch a football than a basketball.
“He’s just one of our best all-around players,” said RBC boys’ basketball coach Tyler Schmelz.
Gordinier is even an unselfish teammate and leader.
“A lot of teams have done a box and one or face guarded him, which gives other guys space to operate. When one or two defenders are focused on one guy, other guys on the court are open also,” Schmelz said. “It’s wide open for other guys a lot of times. They play their roles and get opportunities.”
With Gordinier leading its attack, Red Bank Catholic is thriving this season. The Caseys are 15-2 and a prime contender for the Shore Conference Tournament title.
They have already beaten fellow Shore Conference teams–and championship contenders–Middletown High School South, Freehold Township High School and Manasquan High School.
The Caseys will also be a contender for the South Jersey, Non-Public A state tournament championship.
But Schmelz is not thinking about the postseason yet.
“We play Saint Rose (High School) tonight,” Schmelz said on Jan. 22. “One day at a time. One practice, one drill, one play at a time. To think about what could happen in the future, there’s a lot of opportunity. But I just want to play good today.”
Gordinier and his teammates are doing an excellent job of that.
The junior leads the Caseys in scoring, averaging 16.7 points per contest. He has drilled 52 field goals, 49 three pointers and 33 free throws.
Junior Kevin Bauman “has been a force inside,” Schmelz said. Bauman leads Red Bank in rebounding, recording 7.8 per game.
Schmelz also has a rotation of senior guards who can execute his uptempo style. M.J. Wright, John Duffy, Matt Conley and Steve Lubischer can all defend, handle and score. Duffy has really taken advantage of the space Gordinier creates, hitting on 42 three-point baskets.
“The senior guards are all competitive kids and good players,” Schmelz said. “We don’t miss a beat no matter who’s in there.”
In games, when opponents focus on Gordinier, Bauman and the guards make a run. Then, when other teams key in on Bauman and the guards, Gordinier takes over again.
The Caseys are a difficult team to defend.
“It’s a team effort. No one is worried about getting their shots,” Schmelz said. “We’ve been playing together for three years, so they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They trust each other. It’s a lot of fun to coach unselfish kids who just want to play good basketball together.”
Red Bank Catholic will continue its season on Feb. 1 at home versus Monmouth Regional High School. Tipoff is set for 6:45 p.m.