Boys off to slow start
Catasauqua head boys' basketball coach Eric Snyder normally doesn't expect too much from his squad during the awakening moments of the season every winter.
Over the years, Snyder knows his teams are slow to mature through the season, as the steady, perennial flock of football players tend to take some time to acclimate themselves to the new season.
This year, Snyder expects the script to follow suit. Over his first few games, the veteran coach will juggle lineups to find a concoction for success.
Last year, the Roughies had five of seven football players playing pivotal roles on his team after they had a memorable run all the way to the state playoffs.
Catty had a 5-5 record at Christmas, and eventually jelled into a solid unit that won 11 of its last 13 games and eight straight before they lost to Notre Dame in the Colonial League championship game.
This season, Snyder has a handful of football players who will develop over time.
Kevin Bond, Rickey Houser, Jake Kobe, and Shaun Mason are among football players who look to play key roles on the court this winter.
Over their first two games, the Roughies had a 0-2 record. They suffered a 78-47 defeat to Bangor Tuesday night.
In their season opener Dec. 5, the Roughies dropped a 68-61 shootout against Nazareth, a traditional opening opponent who is expected to be among the contenders in the East Penn Conference. Catty has been in battle down the stretch with Nazareth and were within three points in the final minutes before the Blue Eagles won the game from the foul line.
Snyder stated how his club had trouble with Nazareth's 1-3-1 zone. Dave Wetherhold led the team with 19 points and Dakota Schiffer had 14 and Kevin Bond added 13. The Roughies converted 11 of 20 attempts from the foul line, while Nazareth was 27 of 38 from the charity stripe.
The veteran coach could have worked out some more kinks in a final scrimmage against Pius X that was cancelled due to weather conditions. He also credited the play of senior guards Dakota Schiffer and Dave Wetherhold, the backcourt who will be a stronghold of the team throughout the season.
"We can simulate against the (1-3-1) zone all we can, but there is nothing like playing against it," said Snyder. "We also didn't face another team in a while. That would have helped. But we made too many bad passes and we didn't handle the ball well.
"We are also sorting through finding a lineup. We know it will take some time."
Yet, time always seems to be on the Roughies' side.