After winning the Schuylkill League Division II title, Lourdes Regional boys basketball will try to stop a high-scoring machine in Blue Mountain at Martz Hall, in Pottsville, tonight at 6 p.m in the league playoff semifinals.
The Eagles (20-4) bring an offense that has been unstoppable throughout this season and has run opponents out of the gym.
Red Raiders head coach James Sandri wants his team to play their game and set the tone at the beginning of the game.
“We’ll bring a strong zone and mix in some traps and presses. We have to play solid defense. If we can slow them down and sustain the first three to four minutes then we’ll be in a good spot,” Sandri said about finding a way to attack Blue Mountain, which beat Lourdes a year ago to the day, 78-58.
He continued to discuss the Eagles offensive approach, “They’re a very quick team. They shoot the three ball. I bet they get up at least 20 threes a game. They’re very formidable and everybody is playing in sync.”
The Red Raiders (18-3) have seen elite scoring from Thomas Schultz, Adam Sandri and Ty Klembara, however with tough playoff basketball on the horizon its important for another player to provide an extra option to assist the trio on offense.
“We talk about that as a coaching staff. We have four guys — Jacob Rees, Garrett Timco, Hunter Reed and Gabe Klembara — who have contributed, but not consistently. We haven’t had a game where they all played good. There’s no consistency game in and game out,” Sandri noted about having another scoring threat.
Lourdes has won 10 straight games and they have won by an average of 19.2 points during that stretch.
Even with a strong finish to the season, Sandri does not feel that it really impacts the team in the playoffs.
“Maybe in the ‘80s it would have, but this team is different. Yeah, we’ve come from behind a few times this season, but we have to show up and do our job,” Sandri said.
Sandri will have a few players entering Martz Hall, “The Mecca” for the first time and Sandri has taken the time to reflect on the venue over his coaching and playing career.
“It’s our fourth year in a row there. I remember playing there. It’s a great atmosphere and a great arena,” Sandri noted about the venue.