Story first appeared in the Feb. 10, 2016 issue of The Catasauqua Press and on thelehighvalleypress.com later that day.
As soon as just a few games ago it seemed as if Catasauqua boys’ basketball’s playoff hopes were diminishing. However, the Rough Riders never counted themselves out.
That determination proved to be essential as the team earned a win against Northern Lehigh on Feb. 1, and with a tiebreaker, clinched the squad a Colonial League playoff berth.
The Rough Riders capped off their season in less-than-stellar fashion, falling 67-39 to the Tigers of Northwestern on Senior Night last Wednesday at Catasauqua High School.
Regardless of record, 7-16 overall and 7-10 in the Colonial League, the Roughies headed to postseason play and that is all that mattered, according to head coach Eric Snyder.
“As of now, there are only six teams left in our league and we are one of them,” he said in the locker room. “We could have been one of the seven that aren’t left, but we are one of the six. Anybody has a shot. You have to believe that you can do something. Every team is 0-0 now.”
Catty claimed the sixth and final seed in the league tournament, which commenced on Saturday night. The Rough Riders visited #3 Southern Lehigh in the opening round.
Snyder was happy his squad was playoff-bound, but the regular season did not end as planned.
“We thought we could come out tonight, play with a lot of enthusiasm, work on a lot of things and gain some momentum going into Saturday,” he said. “Well it was total opposite. We were flat. We didn’t shoot well. We didn’t play good defense. We didn’t pass well. We didn’t catch the ball well. It was just a really flat night.”
The Rough Riders had to play catch up the entire night as they never were able to secure a lead. They were able to tie the game at two, 22 seconds into the contest, but were trailing the rest of the way.
Snyder admitted his team “limped into the playoffs,” but he hoped they could shake off the loss.
“I’m hoping it won’t [affect us],” he said. “I think they were looking ahead. I really think that was part of it. The fact that we were in, kind of took a load off their shoulders. I think that they lost some of that momentum and that focus knowing that we were in, but it was Senior Night too and you don’t want to go out limping like this. Like they say in sports, you have to have a short memory.”
Mason led Catty with 14 points in the game. Sophomore Isiah Graves tallied nine markers.
Snyder admitted they have some flaws, but will give it their all on Saturday.
“We will see,” he said. “Sometimes we are a little shaky. We can get very careless, unenthusiastic, very not intense, and that is the way it was tonight.”