It may only be six games into the season, but Delone Catholic coach Lawrence Williams is already desperate for answers.
Following a 41-37 loss to Hanover Tuesday, Williams said he has no idea what’s wrong with the Squires (2-4, 2-2 Division III). He added that his best hope for fixing things right now is to “dream up some crazy ideas” in his sleep.
The 2015-’16 basketball season is still in just its third week. The Squires are hardly the only local team with a losing record and there’s plenty of time to turn things around. At the same time, it’s somewhat surprising to see a team multiple coaches expected to contend for the Division III title struggle after going 12-12 last season.
“I definitely was not expecting to be 2-4 right now,” Williams said on Tuesday. “It doesn’t seem to be working right now.”
While losing a close game to a 4-1 Hanover team isn’t the end of the world, some of the issues that plagued Delone Catholic in bigger losses to York Catholic, Penn Manor and East York popped up again. Namely, the Squires once again got off to a slow start and struggled to get rebounds.
On Tuesday, the Nighthawks grabbed the game’s first seven rebounds which helped them start the first quarter on a 10-2 run. While the Squires actually outscored the Nighthawks 35-31 from that point on, they weren’t able to overcome the early deficit.
How hard will it be to correct these things? Williams said the Squires have constantly worked on boxing out in practice but that he has yet to see that translate to the games.
What has made the start frustrating for Williams is that he went into the season believing his team had more than enough talent to compete. And with returning starters Bryce Mondorff, Tavian Dorsey and Logan Alexander at his disposal, he wasn’t wrong to think that.
All three of those players excelled last season, but with the exception of maybe Mondorff, they’ve been struggling recently. Dorsey didn't have a single point against Hanover and scored just seven against York Catholic last week, while Alexander has struggled to score early in games.
It’s worth noting that the Squires lost their first three contests last season before turning things around, and that the games they’ve lost so far this season have likely been to some of the best teams they’ll face. They’ve also been without Nathan Lawyer, who was expected to start at power forward but has been struggling with shin splints.
Williams isn’t making any excuses, although was he encouraged by his team’s effort down the stretch against Hanover.
“We competed in the fourth quarter so that is definitely a bright spot,” Williams said. “We didn’t compete against York Catholic but we competed tonight. I’m proud that they fought and they competed, but I’m not happy with the end result and no coach would be.”
The Squires have a good opportunity to get back in the win column Friday against Biglerville (2-5, 1-3 Division III), another Division III team that has struggled so far. The Canners are coming off a 62-54 loss to Littlestown.