Jeff Jones has coached enough basketball games to know that while a call at the end of a game may adversely affect the outcome, it's the plays leading up to that point that truly decide the contest.
Brett Radocha's phantom foul at least that's the assessment from the Whitehall faithful put Allentown Central Catholic's Jack Nosovitch on the line for a chance to win the game as time expired.
The game was tied 47 at that point, with Nosovitch snaring a long rebound following Zay Jennings miss.
It was a successful sojourn for the Whitehall wrestling team when they traveled to Lower Moreland for a final tournament in preparation for the postseason.
The Zephs won four matches at the Lower Moreland Invitational on Jan.17 en route to their finals showdown against Conestoga High School where they narrowly lost to the Pioneers, 39-34.
The match could have gone either way, with Whitehall winning six of the eight bouts, four of those by pins. However, they just couldn't prevail in the close matches as the Zephs dropped all three decisions to the Pioneers.
Taylor George has been the basketball team's sparkplug this season, igniting the Zephyrs offense as they vie for a conference playoff berth heading into the final two weeks of the season.
Having already clinched a district playoff spot with their win over Parkland High School last week, the Zephs were looking to pad their Eastern Pennsylvania Conference résumé with a win over Allentown Central Catholic last Friday. But those plans, while still very much alive, were momentarily halted as the Vikettes stormed to a 48-26 win.
When opposing wrestlers step into the circle against Brad Schuler, they must wonder if the school's basketball center somehow stumbled onto the wrestling mat.
It's not often a 6-5" grappler is prowling the mat of a high school meet, and the prospects of wrapping up such a tall opponent presents a set of challenges that Schuler is happy to use to his advantage.
With three big wins last week, and a huge win over Parkland to start this week, the Whitehall girls basketball team continues its ascendancy in the Skyline Division of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
They're currently 7-4 in the division, reeling off impressive wins against Liberty, Emmaus, Hazelton and Parkland, raising their overall record to 11-6. With a win over William Allen on Jan. 9, coupled with Tuesday's win over the Trojans, the Zephs have strung together a four-game winning streak, having previously reeled off two three-game runs this season.
Whitehall's victory over Emmaus inside a packed gym last Friday came with a pair of cleaning supplies that effectively wiped out the Hornets, giving the Zephyrs another win toward a possible EPC wildcard berth.
Those supplies came in the form of Brett Radocha and Saquon Barkley, who thoroughly wiped the glass clean, combining for 27 rebounds in a 55-47 win over the Green Hornets.
Their physical presence inside, aided by guard Nick Hassler who grabbed a few boards himself among the trees, helped them notch another league win.
With football's biggest game about to take center stage, the Whitehall football team recognized their own gridiron accomplishments at their annual banquet.
The banquet, held Jan. 18, featured a long list of accomplishments by a team that finished 8-3, making it to the quarterfinals of the district playoffs.
In order to get to that point it took a monumental team effort, and those achievements were celebrated when they huddled together to acknowledge one another at their annual gathering.
Robert "Butchy" Tully didn't waste any time wrapping up a double-leg takedown to begin his match against Matthew Gross from William Allen, executing the move before the echo from the referee's whistle had subsided.
From that point the senior grappler was in control, moving from the takedown into a quick pinning combination that had Gross stacked at 1:22. It was one of eight bouts resulting in bonus points for the Zephyrs as they rolled to a 48-18 win over the Canaries last Wednesday in Allentown.
After a tough last-second loss to William Allen last Friday, the Zephyrs boys basketball team rebounded with two big league wins, keeping their playoff aspirations in tact as they approach the heart of their Skyline Division games in the upcoming weeks.
The Zephs promptly defeated Pocono Mountain East High School the following night, then dismantled Liberty who was previously unbeaten in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
Fast starts are often a prelude to success in sports, and when William Allen's Tashawna Flood hit a lay-up to give the Canaries a quick 2-0 lead, it seemed the Zephyrs were in for an uphill battle all night.
However, Jill Rex's corner jumper quickly knotted the score, and from that tying basket, Whitehall never trailed again, surviving Allen's furious comeback bid in the third period to post another league win.