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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, December 12, 2016

High School Hoops Finally Under Way

ACCHS Boys Varsity squad with Mr. and Mrs. Dailey
Jay Vaughan, Tournament MVP,  with Mr.and Mrs. Dailey
After what seemed like an eternity to me, high school hoops action is finally under way here in the Lehigh Valley. For Allentown Central Catholic boys varsity, the season started on a positive note with two wins and a Jeff Dailey invitational championship

Jeff, a 2004 graduate of Notre Dame Green Pond (NDGP), was that school's all-time leading scorer. His life was cut short by a fire at East Stroudsburg University, but his parents set up a memorial foundation and has raised over $200,000 for various worthy causes in their son's name. This weekend's tournament netted eight $1,000 scholarships to NDGP.

NDGP's Matt Anthony and Mitch Daniel are All-Tournament.
Anthony scored 28 points against Central!
Neither Central Catholic nor Freedom High School had ever played in this tournament, but hopefully that will change. Central Catholic came out on top in two very fast-paced games against Freedom (76-69) and NDGP (70-63). They start the season at 2-0, but as the scores alone should tell you, it could have been 0-2.

A lot of people had written Central off this year. Their lead scorer, Zay Jennings, graduated and is playing (and starting) at Caldwell. Two of their other top players, Aiden Elwood and Shack Dezonie, transferred. But that opened the door to a concept that is often lost in sports - teamwork. Instead of living and dying with one star, Coach Dennis Csensits has developed a balanced attack in which all players contribute.

You can see that in the box scores.Against NDGP, three Central players were in double digits. Against Freedom there were four.

Dat Lambert scored 40 in two games,
including 10 treys.
Central, which lacks size, also relies heavily n the trey. Dat Lambert is deadly in that category, along with Jordan McChristian and Jay Vaughan. Three-point shooters are usually on or off. I've seen Dat sink eight in a row this summer during the Stellar tournament. I know he is going to hit it before he shoots because he gets this icy look on his face. But he can be off, and that's when it's nice to know that others are there

Vaughan, who was named tournament MVP, is the embodiment of a selfless style of basketball that seems to have spread to the entire team.That is their strength. Assists. Steals. Ball control. Passing.

Their weakness is their size and inexperience.

They will have a little more experience by the end of this week when they face Mikey Esquilin's Whitehall Zephyrs and Cameron Hoffman's Liberty Hurricanes. Those were the two top teams in this Summer's sportsfest.

I am bragging a bit about Central and my grandson, I admit. But I could tell you similar stories about every local high school team. They are great kids. I was particularly impressed that the Freedom and Notre Dame football teams came out to cheer for their friends on the court and razz the other side. Their enthusiasm infected everyone.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Grampa and grandson.. We know you are very proud of your grandson and rightfully so.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Dat. That ND bandbox of a gym is like the Fenway Park of high school basketball. What a great venue for hoops.

Anonymous said...

He had a very impressive 2 games! Congrats.

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:13. It is. It has real cachet. He was there back a few times in elementary school.

Anonymous said...

Has't changed since the Notre Dame Bandstand days of the 60's! Same wooden bleachers and tiny locker rooms.

Anonymous said...

Actually, they completed significant upgrades in the past year. But the place still has the best charm and atmosphere in the area. Great place to see a game.

jma said...

Congratulations to you and your grandson, Bernie. It's always nice to see a proud grandpop, and I'm sure you're creating what will be wonderful memories for your grandson.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks, Jeff. Matt Anthony is a beast! ACCHS was unable to stop him!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"That ND bandbox of a gym is like the Fenway Park of high school basketball. What a great venue for hoops."

Rockne Hall is nice.I have not seen the new upgrade and will finally see it tomorrow. I had a cold during open house and stayed away.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The entire Russian hacking issue is actually a false flag operation that was started by the Democrat's to disrupt the election. They will now use it to delegitimize the election."

Fake news. Try being honest, if you can.

Also, not that you'd understand, but there's a significant public policy interest in the finality of elections. That's why the election-rigging claims that you Trumpions were making was so disconcerting. So far as I know, no rational person is trying to void this election on this basis. But there is nothing wrong with addressing how we can limit the role foreign governments play in elections. I think our options are quite limited. But it is a problem, and one that can be just as damaging to Rs.

jma said...

@5:01 Yup, Matt is a good kid, Bernie.