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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, July 08, 2016

Stellar Tips Off With a Few Surprises

CCHS - Lancaster Catholic Tipoff
The Stellar Tournament tipped off for boys' basketball last night, attracting hundreds of fans to Cedar Beach despite the muggy weather. I was one of them, watching three games from Court No. 1, and dispensing advice from the sidelines that was hopefully ignored.

The Morning Call's Keith Groller has an excellent account of opening night, mostly because it discusses Central. The Vikings are down two players, not temporarily to AAU as is the case with many teams, but permanently to transfers. Aiden Ellwood has returned to Northampton from whence he came to begin with, while Shack Dezonie has had to transfer out of the area.

It's never a good thing to lose talented athletes, but Central has become a very balanced team in which no one person dominates. Dat Lambert might be the high scorer in one game, but Jay Vaughan, Kevin Kern Chris Ocasio and AJ Dana could be the high scorers in the next. They are selfless and look out for each other. .

That point was driven home to me in last night's 48-28 victory over Lancaster Catholic. Dat Lambert either got a rebound or stole the ball (I don't remember which) and began charging down the court. He saw that Jay Vaughan was open and passed to him. Vaughn started to drive in, but instead of shooting, passed back to a now wide open Dat, who then sunk a three-pointer.

The whole night consisted of plays like that,  with the result being that the starters spent most of the second half resting on the bench, allowing very talented athletes like Sammy Vaughan, Jordan (sorry I don't know his last name) and Gabe (once again, I don't have his last name) to play hard and develop.

Central will return to the court on Saturday morning to face either Ridley or Wilson West Lawn. They play tonight.

Emmaus was upset by Cedar Crest (Lebanon) 42-37, in an exciting game that went into overtime. Emmaus was hampered because both Kachelries twins, David and Matt, are away at AAU.

What amazes me about Emmaus is the number of people who come to watch them and who have no children or grandchildren playing. I spoke to a very knowledgeable lady who basically gave me a history of the team, and so did a gentleman sitting behind her.

Emmaus is in the rare position of being in the loser's bracket, although I expect to see it advance as the tournament progresses. One player was so intent on dunking the ball that he managed to throw it away three times. Coach Yoder will no doubt remind him that the point of the game is to score points, not dunk.

Caden Giordan sinks free throw.
I loved watching sophomore Caden Giordano start at Becahi's game against Exeter. He is a fierce competitor, very tough under the boards, and should consider transferring to Central. I offered to make a few calls, but his father held me in contempt again.

Beca was missing its top scorer, Justin "JP" Paz, until the second half. Ironically, that's when the team lost with a final score of 49-18.
King Allentown

I attribute the loss to the shorts being worn by Beca coach Ray Barbosa, which blinded a few players.

As these games were being played, I could hear oohs and aahs next door as Pocono Mountain West annihilated a very talented Salisbury team, 70-25. Pocono Mtn West is missing two players, but it made no difference. Another shocker was catching glimpsed of Phillipsburg come out of nowhere and beat Saucon Valley, 67-62.

I will be back tonight because King Allentown (LEGEND/ICON/SEX GOD. GREATEST LEHIGH VALLEY LEGEND EVER) intends to play Allen as a tune-up to his wrestling match next week against Muscles Nardone.


Anonymous said...

Coach Giordano was an excellent Coach !

Bernie O'Hare said...

He has great rapport with the kids. They play their hearts out for him and have fun. I've always said he should be a professional coach.