Catty set to face Nolehi for third time
Catasauqua head coach Eric Snyder knows how difficult it can be to beat a team three times during a season.
He and his team will face that task Saturday afternoon.
The third-seeded Roughies will meet sixth-seeded Northern Lehigh in a District 11/1 Class 3A quarterfinal game at Northampton High School this Saturday at 6 p.m.
Catty won at Northern Lehigh, 62-59, on Dec. 20, and then beat them on their own court, 54-42, Jan. 20.
“It is never easy to beat a team three times in a season,” said Snyder. “They (Northern Lehigh) have a big guy (Preston Kernery) and a good wing player (Brandon Hess). Hess can shoot and he can be tough.
“We don’t expect to see anything really different. The first time we played them, they played us straight up. In the second game, they played a box-and-one on Isaiah (Graves).”
Senior Isaiah Graves, the leading scorer in the area, recently was named the Colonial League Most Valuable Player. Sophomore Jaylen Green was on the honorable mention list. Tim Superka, a 1997 graduate, previously received the honor under Snyder,
“Isaiah (Graves) got a well-deserved honor,” said Snyder. “He (Graves) has been the leading scorer in the area, and he earned it.
“Isaiah has worked very hard to develop into a well-rounded player.”
Snyder will rely upon Graves and Green for their scoring prowess in the postseason as well as other candidates to surface from the Roughies’ bench. Senior Cullen Bond and freshman Derek Troxell, both of whom provided scoring punch in the rotation, will continue to be sidelined with injuries heading into the postseason.
Senior Miguel Hernandez, junior Andrew Martinez, and sophomore Robert Oppidasano all will need to step up their game.
“Cullen (Bond) could go to the basket and hit a jump shot,” said Snyder. “He also had a great defensive presence out there with his long arms. Derek (Troxell) could come in and give us some instant offense.
“We’ll miss both of them as they were two offensive threats. Miguel (Hernandez) can be a presence down low and Robert (Oppidasano) is a stand-alone shooter and will need to get involved in the post. Andrew Martinez can also help us.”
Snyder believe his team will be able to use its defense to help create offense. If they win, the Roughies will meet the winner between second-seeded Notre Dame and seventh-seeded New Hope-Solebury next Wednesday.
Last season, the Roughies beat Pine Grove in the opening round and then fell to eventual champion Valley Forge Military Academy.
“If we are able to run off our defense, we will be tough to stop,” said Snyder. “We’re better if we can run than in a half-court offense. We’ll see what happens.”