Evan Brady leads young Delone team to districts
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A year ago, Delone Catholic's Evan Brady was wrapping up his freshman season for the boys' basketball team, helping the Squires reach the second round of the district tournament.
He didn't earn a lot of playing time early in the season, but came on late to become a key contributor to the team and finished the year averaging 5.4 points per game.
This year, Brady has bumped that average to 16.7 points per game, setting a new career high with 30 points, reaching double figures 20 times and topping 20 points in a game nine times. He's also canned 56 3-pointers and is shooting 82 percent from the foul line.
That hasn't come as a surprise to Delone coach Lawrence Williams.
"Evan works hard at his game and he's not afraid of shooting the ball and scoring points," Williams said. "There were a few games last year where he played extremely well, but he's become much more consistent this year."
While the sophomore has made big strides this season, Williams says Brady could reach an even higher level over the next two years by developing more of an edge to his game.
"He's a silent guy who doesn't say much on the floor," Williams said. "He always seems mellow."
Brady reached the 20-point plateau for the first time in his career when he bagged 23 points in the Squires' early-season win at Hanover, the first time they'd beaten the Nighthawks in Williams' three-year tenure at the helm.
Delone finished the regular season at 12-10. The Squires had to adjust to the loss of their leading scorer, Logan Alexander, who was arrested Jan. 25 and charged with using a gun to rob a pizza delivery man.
Nevertheless, Delone earned the final spot in the District 3 Class 3A tournament, though not without a little bit of last-minute drama. The Squires made it in thanks to Steel-High's loss to Central Dauphin East in the Rollers' final regular season game.
Williams said his team could have qualified without help if three games had gone the other way.
"We lost to Octorara in Shippensburg's Christmas tournament, York Catholic at home and Greencastle on the road," he said. "All three of those games, we had the lead late and let them get away."
Delone (12-11) finished second in YAIAA III behind York Catholic and earned a spot in the YAIAA tournament. After falling to Spring Grove, 64-42, in the quarterfinals, Delone is now preparing to face Lancaster Mennonite on the road in the opening round of the district tournament at 7 p.m. Monday.
"I always take the approach that a game is winnable as long we do the necessary things to win it and avoid doing the things that will cause us to lose it," Williams said. "Lancaster Mennonite is a solid team with guys that can play. There's nothing in particular that stands out about them, but they do have quality players that do things that have them as the No. 3 team in the district. They're well-coached and they execute their stuff."
Delone started all underclassmen in its YAIAA tournament game against Spring Grove. Williams sent out a trio of sophomores in Brady, Andrew Shipley and Brady Alexander, along with junior Shamus Keefe and freshman Aaron Peete-Bey.
He feels that the season has been successful, so far.
"We qualified for the county tournament and for districts," Williams said. "The only goal that we didn't accomplish was winning our division. We are a young team and that has me extremely excited about our future."