Taylor George’s year at Temple University provided her with a clear cut understanding of how she wanted the rest of her college years to unfold.
As she attended classes at the school that’s located on Broad Street in Philadelphia, the former Whitehall multisport athlete realized that something was missing, and that was reaffirmed when she returned home during Christmas break last year.
“I asked myself, ‘is this really what I want,’” said George. “I reached out to my sister and Kayla Bet, and asked their opinions, and then made my decision.”
While their game against East Stroudsburg North may not have been a clinic, the Whitehall boys basketball team persevered and found a way to win the consolation game of their annual Zephyr Holiday Classic.
It took two overtimes as the Zephyrs rebounded with a 65-63 victory over the visiting Timberwolves last Friday. The nightcap saw Faith Christian Academy- Sellersville and North Hunterdon High School tangle in another game that went overtime, with Faith Christian prevailing, 87-75 to win the Holiday Classic.
When Pete Rile became the coach for the Whitehall swim team, the Berlin Wall would soon fall, signaling the collapse of the Iron Curtain, Milli Vanilli ruled the charts, and The Simpsons were about to air their first half-hour episode.
The Zephyrs played the nightcap of a busy day of hoops last Sunday as they helped raise money for Parkinson’s research as part of the Lehigh Valley Roundball JAMboree.
The Zephyrs tipped off at 5:15 p.m. against Nazareth, the last of four games that benefitted the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research. It was established in honor of former Northampton Area High School basketball coach Mike Schneider.
Whitehall’s Saturday road trip to Pine Grove yielded a win as they unwrapped their first victory of the season.
Head coach Dwight Repsher said that their 13-4 run in the fourth quarter paved the way for the 35-26 win over the Cardinals.
It had been a seesaw affair heading into that final period, with Pine Grove holding onto a slim lead at 24-22 as the Zephyrs got the go-ahead bucket from Taryn Sayre who nailed a three-pointer to give them the one-point lead.
Whitehall took their annual trip up north to participate in the Donegal Holiday Tournament, crowning one champ during last weekend’s busy wrestling weekend.
The Zephyrs placed eight wrestlers, including Julio Diaz who was tops in the 285-pound class, pinning Donegal’s Yonnie Harvey in 3:48 to earn the title. They also had a second-place finisher as Kevin Urena dropped his championship match to Upper Dauphin’s Bronson Garber, 9-0.
While the boys swim team can’t match the raw numbers of their female counterparts, there’s still a possibility that they may reach a new record high and that should bode well for the upcoming season.
Head coach Pete Rile said that they currently have 13 boys on the roster, and that number may grow if things proceed as hoped heading into the season. If that occurs, 14 swimmers will also be the most he’s seen during his tenure.
Rile said that historically low numbers have impacted the overall success of their boys’ team.
In a swim meet, it’s a race against the clock as numbers tell the story. Likewise, numbers will likely play a big part in telling the story of the 2017-18 season for the Whitehall swim team.
Head coach Pete Rile said that it’s highly possible that this season could be the deepest he’s had since he began his illustrious career that’s spanned over four decades.
The girls have seven seniors returning from a squad that finished 12-4, giving them a solid foundation. They also have eight juniors, eight sophomores and 10 freshman, totaling 33 for the new season.
The Whitehall girls basketball team came out like gangbusters to start the 2017-18 season, but that fast beginning fizzled once visiting Northwestern Lehigh ramped up the defensive pressure, forging the Tigers’ path to a 40-36 victory despite a fourth quarter frenzy by the Zephyrs.
The Zephyrs opened the season with an Olivia George three-pointer. That was followed by Alix Buskirk sinking two foul shots on their next possession. Next, Ariana Hines stepped behind the arc for a trey and the Zephyrs were up 8-0 against the Tigers.
The boys tipped off the basketball season at the Loyalsock Tournament as they scored 120 points over their two games, a good sign as they begin league play this week.
Heading into the season, the Zephyrs lost over 95 percent of their offense to graduation. Head coach Jeff Jones said that their performance in the two-game tourney demonstrated their balance, something they can lean on as they start Eastern Pennsylvania Conference action when they hosted Allentown Central Catholic on Tuesday night.