In an ideal world, Conor Regan would have walked to center court on Senior Night and soaked in the moment, then taken the floor for the game and buried a bunch of ‘threes’ on his way to another 20-plus-point performance.
But that’s not how the last stage of the Gloucester Catholic star’s career will play out.
“It’s a terrible twist of fate,” Gloucester Catholic coach Todd Powers said of the injury that likely has ended Regan’s senior season.
The 6-foot-5 Regan, a player so versatile his coach calls him a “Swiss Army knife,” is holding out hope that he might be cleared to play in Gloucester Catholic’s state-tournament opener Feb. 27 at home vs. Holy Spirit in Non-Public South B action.
But after suffering a hairline fracture and other damage to his right ankle in Gloucester Catholic’s 55-50 loss to West Deptford on Saturday, Regan knows that’s a longer shot than any of the school-record number of three-pointers he has made in his career.
“I’m trying to stay positive,” Regan said. “I’m hoping there’s still a chance.”
Powers is decidedly less optimistic and has no intention of exposing Regan to further risk, given the athlete’s potential to play basketball at the collegiate level.
“We’re preparing like he’s not going to be there,” Powers said of the state tournament.
Regan missed Gloucester Catholic’s Senior Night game vs. Highland, which was Tuesday in the Rams’ gymnasium.
Regan has likely finished his career with 1,285 points, fourth on the school’s all-time list. He was in position to pass George Reider, a class of 1955 graduate who scored 1,311, for third place before the injury.
Regan also is the school’s all-time leader in three-pointers, having made his 203rd in the first quarter against West Deptford. Josh Copskey, a 2000 graduate, was the previous record-holder for the Rams.
“He’s the best all-around player I’ve ever coached,” Powers said of Regan. “I think he’s in the Top 5 in Gloucester Catholic history.”
Regan, who lives in Mullica Hill, recently was chosen to play in the North-South Senior All-Star Game March 16 at Rider University.
“That was a great honor,” Regan said. “There are so many great players on that list and my name is not always up there with them.
“It really showed me that hard works pays off.”
As a sophomore, Regan was a sharp-shooting, 5-foot-10 guard, making 78 three-pointers and averaging 12.1 points per game.
“I don’t think he ever went inside the three-point line,” Powers said.
But over the last two years, Regan has grown by seven inches. He’s maintained his range from distance, but also has developed the ability to get to the rim and play in the paint.
“He’s a matchup nightmare,” Powers said.
With a backcourt player’s skills and front-court player’s length, Regan filled up the stat sheet this season. He averaged 19.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.9 steals, all team highs.
Regan went for 25 points with 17 rebounds against Salem, generated 14 points with 14 rebounds vs. Penns Grove, and scored 20 with 11 rebounds vs. Haddon Heights.
“He was the reason we went on that eight-game winning streak in mid-season,” Powers said of the Rams, who were 14-11 through Monday.
Regan has drawn recruiting interest from Chestnut Hill, an NCAA Division II program in Philadelphia, as well as NCAA Division III teams such as Rowan, the College of New Jersey and Widener.
In another unfortunate twist, Regan might have been on his way to the best game of his career in what likely will be the last game of his career.
He scored 11 with a pair of three-pointers and three rebounds in the first quarter against West Deptford as Gloucester Catholic took a 15-8 lead over a team that had won 15 of its previous 16.
Regan turned his ankle on the first possession of the second quarter.