Boys knock off Central
Any time you can win a season series against Allentown Central Catholic, your basketball team must be doing something right.
And the Whitehall Zephyrs did a lot of things right when they faced the Vikings at Rockne Hall last Friday.
For starters, they picked up right where they left off in their earlier matchup, using a quick, up-tempo style to score a decisive blow in the opening quarter.
This time it was by an eight-point margin as they took advantage of six Viking turnovers to give them an 18-10 lead. From that point they kept their foot on the gas and blazed to a 33-23 halftime advantage.
They extended that lead in the second half, using a blend of perimeter shooting and drives to the basket which led to frequent trips to the free throw line, paving the way for the 83-65 victory and halting the Vikings seven-game win streak in the process
In the two games against ACC, the Zephs have scored 159 points. It was their first win at Rockne Hall since 2008 and ends their four-game losing streak.
“It was certainly a good win,” said Jones.
The victory puts them one step closer to a district playoff berth. Saturday’s game with Wilson West Lawn was postponed so they had to wait until Tuesday against division rival Nazareth to see if they would reach the eleven-win plateau. However, they lost in overtime, 71-68.
They’re now 10-8 on the season with three more games to play.
Another thing they did right last Friday was forcing the Vikings defense to commit fouls.
“This win shows something we’ve been talking a lot about and that’s getting to the foul line,” said Jones.
The Zephyrs attempted 34 foul shots and converted 29.
“We shot 85-percent from the foul line, I’ll take that,” said Jones.
That was a byproduct of playing up-tempo and attacking the basket, a key component of what they want to do, and against ACC they were successful.
“It’s certainly part of the plan to get some of their guys in foul trouble,” said Jones.
Another thing they did well was fill up the scoring column on the stat sheet with practically the entire roster.
They had five players in double figures led by Charles Hudson who poured in 17. Guard Jackson Buskirk netted 16 points, while Mikey Esquilin added 13, Logan McGinley dropped in 12, and Zach Gilbert chipped in with 10.
Jones said that Kayden Walschburger scored all of his eight points in the fourth quarter. That was crucial since the Vikings cut the lead to 10 with under three minutes in regulation.
Also scoring for the Zephs were Devin Martinez (5) and Eric Johnson (2).
“That kind of scoring balance is really phenomenal,” said Jones.
The team had come into the game on a four-game losing streak. Even though they dropped those successive games, Jones felt they were facing some really good teams and played well in segments, they just weren’t able to string together 30 minutes of good basketball.
The final thing they did right was shaking off the tough loss to Parkland when they got back into the gym last Wednesday. Jones said that after the game against the Trojans, he was going to make practice fun.
They held a 3-on-3 tournament featuring six teams and played for three minutes. He said that the kids really had some fun, and injecting some spirited competition helps during a long season. That lent itself to a good practice the following day.
“And here we are enjoying the nice win the next day,” said Jones.