Catty boys to face Pine Grove
Catasauqua’s basketball team is headed back to the PIAA District 11 playoffs this weekend with a legitimate chance to advance to the next round.
The fifth-seeded Roughies in the Class 3A bracket will make their first appearance in two years against fourth-seeded Pine Grove at the legendary Martz Hall in Pottsville Saturday night at 7:30. Catty last faced Notre Dame of Green Pond in the district playoffs.
Catty will enter the game with an 8-14 record, while Pine Grove had an 8-13 mark with a game pending Monday. The Cardinals claimed the higher spot due to the district power ratings.
Pine Grove, which competes in the Schuylkill League, had one common opponent with Catty in Lehighton.
The Cardinals lost a pair of games to Lehighton, 51-38 and 49-40, while the Roughies suffered a 72-31 loss to the Indians.
Roughies head coach Eric Snyder gained some insight into the Cardinals’ play after the Roughies scrimmaged Tamaqua last Thursday.
“Their coach (Tamaqua) told me that they have two sophomore guards and a 6-3 guy in the middle,” said Snyder. “We’ll look for them to play a man-to-man defense. I have some tapes and I’ll get a better look at them.”
The Cardinals are led by senior guard David Sneeden, who is a viable three-point threat, and center Taylor Routledge, whose 6-4, 260-pound frame will clog the middle for the Cardinals.
The Roughies will be led by junior Isaiah Graves, who was recently the lone junior named to the Colonial League First-Team and freshman forward Jaylen Green, who has been their second-leading scorer.
The winner of the game will face top-seeded and District One powerhouse Valley Forge Military Academy in the semifinal round March 1 at a site yet to be determined.
Snyder noted how his team’s fortune easily could have been reversed. The Roughies lost three games in the final seconds on made three-pointers by Pen Argyl, Moravian Academy, and Northwestern.
“We could be 11-11 if it wasn’t those shots,” said Snyder. “We were 22 seconds away from that. If we had a .500 record, we might have been the third seed.”
Still, Snyder is happy his team is back in the big dance. He was hopeful to get a practice on the Martz Hall floor before the game.
“It’s nice to get back in it,” said the veteran coach who is in his 25th year on the Catty bench. “Maybe we can get a practice there at the beginning of the week. We looked good in our scrimmage against Tamaqua.
“We have to show up, play our game, and see what happens.”