The third time proved not to be a charm when the Whitehall girls basketball team met Nazareth in the opening round of the district playoffs.
The Zephyrs were in pursuit of a District XI 4A title, and standing in their way were the Blue Eagles, a team that defeated them twice during the regular season.
Their contest was the first game of a double-header at Northern Lehigh High School last Friday, and the Zephs were looking to end Nazareth's streak at two wins this season.
In a darkened wrestling room at Whitehall High School, Brad Schuler was busy pedaling the stationary bike in the corner, while Joey Gladish was on the mat shadow wrestling.
Wrestling is often a solitary pursuit, with each man preparing to go it alone against an opponent in the circle.
As they both settled into their daily routines inside the Zephyr wrestling room, these two solitary figures shared a common objective. They both want to represent Whitehall High School at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Individual Wrestling Championships next month.
It may have been snowing outside, but inside Pleasant Valley's gymnasium last Saturday it was raining buckets as the Whitehall boys basketball team sprung for 50 points, advancing to the semifinals of the district championship.
In a game where the Zephs defense was once again the story, rainmakers Brett Radocha and Jake Meyers combined for 35 points to help Whitehall defeat second-seeded Bangor Area High School 50-41 to set up another division match-up when they faced Nazareth in the District 11 4A semifinals Wednesday.
The Whitehall girls basketball team will be trying to buck a trend once district competition gets underway this week.
Just like the boys basketball team who will be playing Northampton this week, the girls lost both regular season games to Nazareth, their opening round opponent in the District XI AAAA Championships.
Head basketball coach Jeff Jones and his staff won't have to do a lot of scouting when the Zephyrs begin district action this week.
That's because their opponent isn't a mystery among the 12 teams battling for a District XI AAAA Championship. The Zephs hosted Northampton on Wednesday, past Press deadlines, making it the third time these two division rivals will play one another. Whitehall enters as the 7th seed, while Northampton occupies the 10th spot.
Icy conditions may have forced the cancellation of the Whitehall boys basketball game against Parkland for a shot at a league championship on Monday night, but once they hit the floor on Tuesday, it appeared the cold front moved into the Trojans gymnasium.
In the inaugural season of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, the Whitehall boys basketball team had a chance to make a little bit of history.
They can become the first basketball team to become league champions in the newly-minted EPC, something that didn't seem possible a week ago. However, they managed to win the games necessary to secure the final wildcard berth into the EPC tourney, finishing the season at 8-8. Their ticket was punched once Northampton lost to Nazareth last Friday night, gaining entry via the league's power rankings.
Needing a final win against Parkland to qualify for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference playoffs, the Whitehall girls basketball team hoped they'd be able to join the boys in the postseason tourney.
The Zephyrs road to the conference championships went through the Trojans, a team they beat 28-24 earlier in the season. The game was close throughout, but their Skyline division rivals were able to dash their dreams of making the EPC playoffs, winning 35-26 to close out the regular season.
Whitehall's loss against Parkland last Friday officially ended the regular basketball season for the Zephs, but they'll have a chance for some quick redemption as they'll try to solve the dilemma of stopping the Trojans heading into the conference championship.
Inside a packed, the Zephyrs were looking to upset the Trojans who came into the game with a gaudy 21-1 record. They were also undefeated in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, and had earlier defeated the Zephs by 16 points.
They were denizens of the diamond, operators on the oval, and gladiators on the gridiron, all of whom were clad in maroon and gold to those many years ago.
They were also district and league champions, state qualifiers, all-stars, and fierce competitors whose accomplishments put them into the record books as well as the collective memory of the Whitehall community.
They were also the latest class of inductees into Whitehall's Hall of Fame, honored last Friday in a ceremony between the boys and girls varsity basketball games.