Heavy hearts at Sacred Heart

There were the familiar sounds of hip-hop music playing, basketballs bouncing and fans cheering coming from the Sacred Heart Cathedral gym Tuesday night.

But for those who saw the candles burning beside flowers across the street and heard the preamble to the customary pregame prayer, it was clear the school was still in mourning.

When Riordan traveled to Sacred Heart for Tuesday’s West Catholic Athletic League boys’ basketball game, it marked the first athletic event at the gym since the father of one of the members of the girls’ team was shot and killed Saturday night. Terrell Rogers, the father of Irish star Tierra Rogers, was killed across the street from the gym during halftime of the Sacred Heart-Mitty game. Tuesday, the Sacred Heart boys lost to Riodran 57-51.

“It’s a terrible tragedy,” said Sacred Heart Cathedral President John Scudder, who asked fans to think of the Rogers family before the prayer preceding the game.

“We’re trying to make things as normal and comfortable as possible for the girls.”

The Irish girls are 15-0 and last week assumed the

No. 1 position in the USA Today Super 25 poll. The team is led by Pepperdine-bound seniors Lauren Bell and Jazmine Jackson, with Rogers (the 37th-ranked junior in the country according to hoopgurlz.com) providing scoring, athleticism and great defense at forward.

Before the game, Raymond Hodge, who grew up with Terrell Rogers, stood in front of a memorial of flowers, candles and a basketball trophy that lay across the street from the gym.

“Terray was always there for his family and friends,” Hodge said. “When he said he loved you, he loved you. And he loved everybody.”

The Sacred Heart girls will not play this week. A home game originally set for tonight against Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton was postponed Monday, and Saturday’s scheduled game at St. Francis has been pushed back to Jan. 26, according to Eileen Clisham, the school’s director of communications.

Both the freshman and junior varsity teams will travel and play against St. Francis on Saturday, while a timetable for the varsity’s return to the court is still uncertain, Clisham said.

melliser@examiner.com 

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