CHS looks to tighten up D
Through their first three games, the Catasauqua boys’ basketball team averaged 70.3 points per game.
It was a pleasant surprise for head coach Eric Snyder, who admittedly was worried before the season about supplemental scoring beyond Isaiah Graves and Jaylen Green.
Problem is, the Roughies gave up 78 points per game during the same span. It is a major reason they had a 1-2 record opening the season.
Catty began to rectify their problem when they registered a 58-41 victory over Saucon Valley Monday night to even their mark at 2-2. Graves had 25 points.
“Yea, it’s great that we are scoring that many points,” said Snyder. “But we have to play defense. We’re not making the big stop. We just have to work that much harder.
“Isaiah (Graves) had a good game (against Saucon Valley), but our bench played great. We played defense better than in the other games, but they (Saucon Valley) aren’t as good as the other teams we played.”
The Roughies did register likely one of their biggest wins this season when they edged Notre Dame, 84-81, in overtime.
But the victory always will mean to Snyder that just knocking off a Colonial League favorite. Catty played without starters Graves, Miguel Hernandez, and Cullen Bond over the last four minutes of regulation and overtime, as the trio fouled out.
Green, Cam Ritter, and newcomer Robert Oppidasano all played meaningful minutes down the stretch.
“It proved that we could use the theory of next man up,” added Snyder. “Jaylen (Green) really picked up his game and Ritter and Oppidasano made some big plays for us. It was good to see us be able to pick up the slack this early in the season and not collapse.”
The Roughies followed with another tight game, this time coming out on the short end to Northwestern, 76-73.
Graves had a game-high 38 points, but he struggled from the foul line hitting only 8 of 16 attempts. Green couldn’t get his offensive game in gear as he added just nine points. But Graves, Green, Ritter, Oppidasano, and Derek Troxell helped keep the Roughies close until the end.
With his performances, Graves became the eighth player under Snyder’s 26-year run to break the 1,000-point plateau for his career. He also became the 21st overall 1,000-point scorer in school history.
“Isaiah (Graves) has a lot of potential,” said Snyder. “He is a natural scorer and has the ability to carry a team. This is a nice milestone for him.”
Despite the defeat to Northwestern, Snyder sees plenty of positives ahead.
“Jaylen (Green) just couldn’t make a shot,” said Snyder about the Northwestern game. “He had trouble all night. Isaiah (Graves) had trouble from the line and that hurt us, too.
“But we have played well and we have been able to establish depth. That will be a key for us throughout the season.”