Dawgs dominated by Caseys in rivalry matchup

Shore Conference divisional play is now in full swing as the holiday tournaments are over and we have moved into the “heart” of the schedule.  And with college bowl season about to come to a close (I like Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators – Oklahoma’s defense is shaky at best), basketball will be at the top of most sports enthusiast’s priority list.

With that backdrop, we come to Tuesday night’s rough loss for the boys team as they traveled to RBC to take on the rival Casey’s.  With a final score of 55-39, it’s extremely hard for me to try and look at the “moral” victories in this game, as it was simply a downright bad loss.  Here are some things to consider about the game:

1) When you shoot 35% from the field and your opponent shoots 51%, it’s pretty difficult to win basketball games.  I’m not saying that it never happens, because believe me, I’ve seen some strange things happen in various basketball games over the years.  But, as a general rule of thumb, if you tell me a team is going to make more than half of their shots, and their opponent will only make slightly more than a third, I’ll most likely bet on the team shooting 51%.  Why were the Casey’s able to shoot so well from the field?  Likewise, why did RFH struggle to shoot the basketball?  I don’t have the answers, but I am sure it is something that head coach James Young and company will address while watching the film of this game.

2) Is Danny Calandrillo (RBC senior shooting guard) a player, or what?  The kid shot 7-9 (16 points overall), including a 10 point third quarter.  During the third period, Calandrillo hit 2 crucial 3-pointers that were part of the run that RBC broke the game open with.  The thing that most impressed me with Calandrillo was his shot selection; the kid knows when to shoot and knows when to pass, evidenced by his insane shooting percentage.  He also has an awesome floater, which I believe he nailed twice during the game.

3) Where was the fire and emotion during the 4th quarter?  After being down by  double digits, the Dawgs cut the lead to 5 following a Jordan Iarussi trifecta and a pair of free throws by James LeCardi.  Following that RFH mini-run, RBC went on a 13-2 run to end the game.  Peter Guastella was huge for the Casey’s during that run, as he scored 9 of his 13 points during the 4th quarter.  I really thought that after LeCardi’s free throws, this team would take it to RBC in the final minutes and pull out a hard fought victory.  Alas, I was wrong.

More than anything, I hope that this game can be a learning experience for this team.  With shooters like Matt Blumel, LeCardi, and Iarussi , and big men like Justin Hook and Dean Wise, no lead by an opposing team is safe.  This group of players is too talented to not have a successful season, and I have no doubt that these early season struggles will pay dividends in the latter parts of the season.

We’ll see you on Friday night for the game against Manasquan, and then into Saturday for the game against New Jersey high school basketball powerhouse, St. Anthony.

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