Lawrence Williams didn't see it coming.
The Delone Catholic coach went into Thursday night's game against York Catholic expecting his team to build off its 58-36 win over Bermudian Springs on Tuesday. But what he got was essentially the exact opposite on his home floor.
Against a talented York Catholic squad, the Squires looked out-of-sync and sloppy all night, losing to the Fighting Irish 53-40 to fall to 1-3 on the season. The Squires trailed 53-31 late in the fourth quarter before scoring nine straight points with both teams' reserves in.
According to Williams, the loss had much more to do with the effort levels of the two squads than it did with the difference in talent.
"We didn't compete the way we should have," Williams said. "We didn't box out, didn't rebound. We've got guys standing around watching guys take shots. (The Fighting Irish) did what they wanted to.You won't win games against good basketball teams when you do what we did tonight.
"I don't feel they were that much better than us. They have a really good team but I believe we do too and we just didn't play well."
There wasn't one specific area that doomed the Squires on Thursday, but constant turnovers and their inability to consistently grab rebounds were major problems. That combined with the fact that they opened both halves by going 1-for-10 from the field made the result not surprising.
Early on, it looked as if Delone Catholic would keep it competitive despite its shooting woes. Senior forward Bryce Mondorff scored five of the game's first six points as the Fighting Irish had some offensive struggles of their own.
But York Catholic started clicking in the second quarter and went into halftime up 22-13. It was then that things got ugly, as the Fighting Irish opened the third quarter with a 9-0 run that seemed to break the Squires' spirit.
"We're a deep team and we've got nine guys that can contribute and play well," York Catholic coach Blaine Claiborne said. "I think halftime was good for us. We got our composure. D'Andre (Davis) can score in bunches and he pumped in five (during that run)."
Claiborne agreed with Williams that the Squires are a much better team than what they showed Thursday. At the same time, he praised his own players for the effort and teamwork they displayed to improve their own record to 2-1.
"This is our first road game, division game, we had the energy to get ourselves going," Claiborne said. "You could hear our bench clapping, cheering and standing up for plays. That's what I'm preaching, everybody being together."
It was interesting to hear Claiborne mention the energy of his team's bench, since Williams pointed out that his bench had "no emotion, no excitement" at one point.
With Delone Catholic having returned a number of key contributors from last season, Williams said he expected better and that hopefully this game will act as a wake-up call. He added that it's up to the players to clean things up moving forward.
"They played like an inexperienced team," Williams said. "That's not coaching. I can tell you what to do, but if you don't go out and execute it, that's on you. That's lack of pride as a man. We've got to have more excitement, more passion, more heart, more willingness to win."
York Catholic 53, Delone Catholic 40
York Catholic (53)
Melik Martin 7 1-2 15, D'Andre Davis 5 0-0 11, Andrew Forjan 2 2-2 8, Eddie Smith 3 1-2 7, Zachary Echevarria 4 0-0 8, Joseph Bauhof 1 0-0 2, Kyle Derowski 1 0-0 2
Totals — 23 4-6 53
Delone Catholic (40)
Bryce Mondorff 2 7-8 11, Logan Alexander 5 3-5 13, Tavian Dorsey 2 3-6 7, Evan Brady 1 0-1 3, Charlie Hoerl 1 0-0 3, Austin Kuntz 1 0-0 2, Shamus Keefe 0 1-2 1
Totals — 12 14-22 40
York Catholic _ 11 _ 11 _ 16 _ 15 _ — _ 53
Delone Catholic _ 7 _ 6 _ 9 _ 18 _ — _ 40
3-point goals — York Catholic 3 (Forjan 2, Davis 1), Delone Catholic 2 (Hoerl 1, Brady 1)
JV score — York Catholic 62, Delone Catholic 51