The Whitehall boys basketball team will have a good head of steam heading into the district playoffs which will begin next week.
After winning two consecutive games to close out the season, both of which came against teams that had beaten the Zephyrs in their first meeting, head coach Jeff Jones was a bit torn about the prospects of having to shelve his players for a week while they wait for districts.
“It’s kind of unfortunate that we have these two weeks off, we would like to be playing,” said Jones.
In a season filled with big, savory wins for the Whitehall girls basketball team, Friday’s win over Parkland may have been the sweetest.
This year has featured wins over defending district champs Nazareth and Steel Division powerhouse, Liberty. They also halted Bethlehem Catholic’s march toward a consecutive win streak over league opponents, a record that spanned 58 regular season games, and even more recently knocked off a very good Northampton team.
The Whitehall wrestling team got its first league win with a victory over Allentown Central Catholic last Saturday.
The Zephs were paired against ACC in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Championship Day wrestling event at Easton Area Middle School.
Bethlehem Catholic won the event with a 40-9 drubbing of Nazareth in the match-up of the two division winners.
Whitehall won nine bouts en route to the 51-29 victory over the Vikings.
Once again they were paced by their lightweights as Caleb Staub and Noah Rex continue to peak heading into the postseason.
The Whitehall basketball team took a good run at Chester last Saturday, but in the end, too much depth and size became insurmountable and the Clippers sailed out of Zephyr Gymnasium with a win.
With the 76-68 loss, the Zephyrs were still searching for that elusive 11th win that would have propelled them into the district playoffs.
They finally got that win Monday night when they exacted some revenge against Northampton, defeating them on their own floor, 68-39.
They’ve now made the District 11 playoffs for the sixth consecutive year.
It was Rebecca Snyder’s heads-up play that opened the door for a national championship.
The former Whitehall graduate was playing field hockey for East Stroudsburg University in the NCAA Division II National Championship game last fall when she spotted fellow senior Ally Roth in the clear 25-yards ahead and hit her with a pass that allowed the forward to split two Merrimack defenders, the second one committing a foul which led to a penalty stroke that Roth converted for the overtime winner.
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.
As the dual meet season winds down, the Zephyr wrestling team is looking to gain some momentum as they head into the postseason tournaments.
So far this season it’s been an uphill battle in matches versus league opponents. With just one league match remaining against Emmaus, they’ll be trying to prevent getting shut out against Eastern Pennsylvania Conference foes. It will be a tough task this week as the Green Hornets sport an 11-6 overall record which includes an impressive 32-30 win over Northampton on Dec. 9.
To measure how far the Whitehall girls basketball has come this season, one only has to look at their recent game against Allentown Central Catholic.
Even though they lost the game to the Vikettes, they were able to send the contest into overtime.
This was against a team that has won the last 24 meetings against the Zephyrs dating back to the 1998-99 season.
The Zephyrs led most of the game. They would be up five at times, four another, and also three as well, but Central would always come back.
Everyone who puts on a uniform and steps onto a court or a field aspires to win.
That’s why the games are played.
It’s the same at every level from the dusty fields of the Pop Warner Leagues to the manicured turfs of the National Football League.
Whitehall graduate Dan Koppen knows about those fields. He won pro football’s ultimate prize: A Super Bowl. In fact, he won two of them as a member of the New England Patriots.
With all their offensive options, Whitehall boys basketball coach Jeff Jones knows that Parkland can come at you in waves.
And when Whitehall trimmed the Trojans lead to 38-30 early in the third period after Logan McGinley followed his own miss for the bucket, one of those waves hit. The Trojans answered with an 8-2 run to push the lead to 46-32.
However, Whitehall struck back, getting a pair of free throws from Jackson Buskirk and a three from Charles Hudson to slice their lead back to single digits at 46-37.