Much like eggnog and candy canes, the Zephyr Duals has become one of the staples of the holiday season.
This year's Zephyr Duals held Jan. 3 featured 15 teams, with Wyaluisng Valley Sr./Jr. High School winning the tournament. The Rams claimed the championship after defeating Emmaus High School 41-33 in the finals. They clinched the victory by winning eight of the 14 bouts, five by pins.
It's customary to ring in the New Year with lots of noisemakers, and the Whitehall girls basketball team did just that, much to the surprise of everyone in the gym, when they hosted Northampton last week.
That happened late in the third quarter when the fire alarm suddenly sounded, briefly halting the game on Jan. 2. At that point Whitehall was leading 26-17, and it could be argued that the Zephs were on fire throughout the game, prompting the need for the alarm.
The Zephyr boys basketball team rode the hot hand of Jake Meyers who helped stake them to an early lead against Bethlehem Catholic High School, and then held on for a much needed 62-57 league victory on Tuesday night.
After compiling a double-digit lead for most of the game, the Zephyrs allowed the Golden Hawks to trim the lead to 49-40 with 5:52 left to play in the game. Bethlehem Catholic was able to close the gap thanks to back-to-back threes by Freddie Simmons, prompting a timeout.
It's that time of year when people look back and take stock of their lives, reflecting on where they've been and the people who've been instrumental in their growth and prosperity.
While it applies to individuals, athletic teams can also use that time to look back on people and coaches who have influenced their lives.
That was evident on Tuesday night when a couple of people who have played prominent roles in the Whitehall basketball program were remembered for their contribution and dedication to the sport and the people who play it.
Former Whitehall coach Dick Tracy will have a permanent spot in a place where he built a legacy that has helped shape the lives of all of those who knew him.
Tracy's name is now emblazoned on the basketball court inside Zephyr Gymnasium, a reminder of his contribution to a team and a community since he began his coaching tenure in 1972. The court dedication preceded last Tuesday's game against Nazareth Area High School and included many of his former players, from both Whitehall and Dieruff, all of whom impacted by his mentorship and leadership.
After reeling off a few wins to begin the season, the Whitehall girls basketball team now finds themselves battling back from two consecutive losses.
The Zephs have won three of their first four games to start the season. It took them 10 games to win that same number last year. They've shown steady improvement, witnessed by last week's 53-35 victory of East Stroudsburg North High School for their third consecutive victory, setting up Friday's game against Allentown Central Catholic High School.
When Nick Hassler got fouled on a runner in the lane late in the third period, it looked like the Zephs were on the way to digging out of a hole they found themselves in after the first half against Allentown Central Catholic at Rockne Hall.
His subsequent free throw trimmed the lead to four points with 2:30 left in third quarter, and the Zephs looked like they were going to overcome that 12-point halftime deficit.
It was a Thursday matinee inside the Whitehall wrestling room last week featuring some fierce action that showcased another league win for the Zephyrs.
The team was huddled around a monitor watching some highlights during their matches from the last two weeks, including their win over Allentown Central Catholic High School the previous day.
The Zephs happened to win that dual meet 62-9, and Thursday's video session gave them the opportunity to see the things they did well and not so well.
It's an important tool for head coach Tim Cunningham and his staff.
Just in time for the holidays, there was a blanket sale at Zephyr gymnasium when the Whitehall basketball team hosted East Stroudsburg North on Tuesday.
The blanket, in this case, was maroon and gold and fit snuggly over the Timberwolves offense. In fact, when applied to the visitors, it didn't allow ESN more than 10 points in any quarter, paving the way for a 54-24 win.
The Timberwolves, who were averaging 49 points per game coming into the contest, couldn't solve Whitehall's match defense.
It was a wire-to-wire victory for the Whitehall girls basketball team when they hosted Stroudsburg High School last Friday.
The Zephs took charge from the initial tip-off, opening up a 16-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, and then held off a late surge by the Mounties to record their first win of the season, 46-33.
Head coach Dwight Repsher has been adamant about playing ahead this season, something that eluded the team all last year. Their win demonstrated the importance of getting a lead as they used a balanced offensive attack to register their first league win.