Boys hope success carries over
Catasauqua head boys basketball coach Eric Snyder is optimistic his team's performance during the summer can carry over to the regular season during the winter.
The latest episode was at the Stellar Basketball Tournament where the Roughies dropped two of their three games. It wasn't reflective of just final scores, but instead one of the team's work ethic and determination this summer.
The Roughies lost to Washington, N.J., beat Jim Thorpe, and then lost to Whitehall to finish with an overall 1-2 record.
"Everything went well for us there," noted Snyder of the tournament. "We fell behind 10-2 to Washington and then came back at halftime. At the start of the third quarter, they scored 12 straight points, but we came back again.
"They were up two in the game's final 20 seconds but we turned the ball over. We came back the next day and beat Jim Thorpe and then had Whitehall. We were close with them, but we couldn't score in key spots, and ended up losing the game.
"We did play well and managed to hold our own."
Snyder cited the play of incoming seniors Derrick Bond and Isaiah Graves, both of whom excelled in the tournament and have also been consistent during the season.
"Kevin Bond must have blocked 10 to 12 shots against Whitehall," stressed Snyder. "He (Bond) was really frustrating them down low. It is unbelievable what he can do so effortlessly. He reminded me of (Celtics' great) Bill Russell out there.
"He also had a good shot both inside and outside. We need to work the ball more to him down low. He really has a lot of untapped potential."
While Bond was working down low, Graves proved to be an effective outside and penetrating threat.
"Isaiah (Graves), played excellent," said Snyder. "He (Graves) is playing with a lot of confidence and hopefully, it will lead to something. He realized that this is his senior season and he seems to be playing with a sense of urgency. He has the ability to be a major threat."
This week, the Roughies will end their summer program at SportsFest this weekend. They will have a formidable schedule, facing Allen, Quakertown, and Faith Christian.
However, Snyder isn't worried. He is confident his team can avoid a sluggish regular season start last season, one in which the Roughies never recovered.
"We'll face teams that are taller than us," he said. "We really don't have the height. But these kids have played hard all summer and they haven't backed down. They have competed and we hope this can carry over to the season."