Catasauqua Press

Sunday, December 17, 2017
Boys eyeing playoff berths Boys eyeing playoff berths

Boys eyeing playoff berths

Thursday, December 7, 2017 by Jeff Moeller Special to the Press in Sports

With three starters back and increased depth, the Catasauqua boys’ basketball team should make an impact in the Colonial League as well as in the District 11 bracket this winter.

The Roughies are coming off a 9-15 season in which they soundly defeated Pine grove, 70-50, in the opening round of the district playoffs before they fell to highly touted Valley Forge Military Academy, 91-46, in the second round.

“We have a lot of good athletes who can pass, dribble, and shoot,” said veteran head coach Eric Snyder, who will begin his 26th year at the helm. “We likely won’t have a post-up game, and we would like to be able to go up and down the court.

“I think we will have enough shooters.”

Leading the way will be Isaiah Graves, who is 68 points of reaching the 1,000-point plateau for his career. Graves has been among the area’s top scorers the previous two years.

“He’s healthy and should have a big year for us,” said Snyder about Graves, who battled through injuries over the past two years. “He can be a lethal scorer and he has to keep everything in perspective.”

Joining Graves in point production will be Jaylen Green, who underwent surgery on his ankle in late June. Green, who was slowed last season by the ankle injury, should be a steady double-digit contributor throughout the season.

Andrew Brett is back at a guard spot. Brett suffered a torn ACL during the football season, but he is expected to play with a brace, alike former Roughie Brandon Purrone who accomplished the feat in the 2013 season.

“Green has the potential to be a great player,” said Snyder. “He can do a number of things on the floor. Brett is a quiet leader who does all the little things. Both of them should have strong years for us.”

Andrew Martinez, Cullen Bond, and Miguel Hernandez all should see significant playing time and all of them loom as the potential fourth and fifth starters.

Joey Sparacello, Cam Ritter, and D’Angelo Martinez also should figure prominently in the mix.

“We do have shooters, but we don’t have height,” added Snyder. “Bond (6-foot-2), Green (6-1), and Miguel (6-1) will be our tallest players. But we do have a number of bodies and we’ll just have to battle down low.”

The Roughies will again open the season as they traditionally have with Nazareth on Dec. 8. They will begin Colonial League play the following Monday when they host perennial power Notre Dame.

The Crusaders along with defending champion Bangor appear to be the early favorites in the race for the league crown.

Still, Snyder likes his team’s chances this winter.

“The kids had a really good summer and they worked hard,” he said. “We have some depth and a lot of kids who had playing time last season. We’re ready to go.”