Interview with Coach Daugherty

Brody Henderson, Staff Writer

I had the pleasure of catching up with Coach Daugherty this week to discuss his thoughts on the amazing OP basketball season this year. We spoke the same week that his squad pulled off a last minute thrilling victory against St. Joe’s that advanced his team into the next round of states. 

Here are the questions I asked our fearless basketball leader:

What allows this team to be able to play such great basketball against strong opponents?

“I think this team is very balanced. There is a lot of good height and size which is vital to our team for rebounds. Good back court. The players on the bench know what to do and cheer on their teammates. This team is also unselfish and never holds the ball too long. In short, everyone knows their role.”

Which game was your favorite this season and why?

“The county game against Scotch Plains Fanwood at home. It was our most prepared game and we executed perfectly. We did everything right on defense and offense. Another enjoyable game this season was Senior night. It was fun to see the seniors who devoted time and effort to this program get to play.”

The Rowdies and the rest of the student body have been back in full force this season. What kind of impact do they have on the team?

“Everything — they are so important. We are 12-2 at home. Playing in front of friends and families motivates the players to do good. It is also such a loud environment for opposing teams which makes it difficult for them. I am not kidding when I say this, it might be one of the loudest gyms in New Jersey.”

What was the biggest surprise of this basketball season to you?

“The fact that we exceeded every benchmark we set. We handled adversity and challenges very well. There was never a low spot this season. This was all thanks to our ability to be mentally tough and bounce back from difficult moments.”

Do you or the team have any pre-game rituals?

“If home, a lot of the guys go into the weight room and listen to music. We meet 4 minutes before the JV game ends and go over film on the opponent. My pre-game ritual usually consists of cleaning the court and drinking coffee while watching film on the team we are playing.”

How do you feel about winning the conference?

“We expected to win the conference, wanted to win it. We lost our first game and bounced back.”

What was the hardest game so far?

“The hardest game besides Rutgers Prep and Roselle Catholic have been with New Providence. They have a really good coach who knows basketball. His players can shoot and the way they play counters one of our biggest advantages, height.”