As the Lehigh Valley Phantoms prepared for a key home-and-home series against rival and division-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, it was easy to spot the optimists from the pessimists.
The optimists looked back at last Wednesday’s 5-4 overtime loss to Syracuse and pointed to picking up a crucial point in the loss. The pessimists pointed to leaving a point on the table as the season starts to wind its way down toward what figures to be a pretty exciting conclusion.
The Sanctuary at Haafsville is in the midst of a campaign to raise funds for constructing a new building at the animal shelter along Nestle Way, Breinigsville.
The campaign received a shot in the arm recently when Rick Beuttel, director of business development for Air Products, presented a $5,000 check to Liz Jones, the Sanctuary’s executive director.
The money, from an award given to Beuttel for his work with Air Products, was earmarked for a local charity, left to the discretion of Beuttel.
It was just one of those days for Northwestern when it traveled to Salisbury (5-2, 7-3) to take on the Falcons Saturday. After trailing by just three at the half, the Tigers shooting went cold and they came out of Salisbury High School with a 54-38 loss to Salisbury.
Salisbury’s Jack Reichenbach led all scorers with 21 points, while Ryann Slutsky and Jaxon Costello chipped in with 11 points each. For Northwestern, Trevor Cunningham and Deven Bollinger each scored eight points to lead the Tigers, with Sam Yadush picking up seven points.
The Northwestern girls basketball team dropped its first two games of the season, falling to Whitehall 25-24 before getting drubbed by Allen 66-37. The two losses put the Tigers in a bad spot as they faced three more games in four days before they had a break in the schedule. Instead of hanging their collective heads and letting the season slip away, they went to work on the one thing that has led them to three straight wins: fundamentals.
The Northwestern soccer program took a huge step forward in 2015 when it won for the first time ever in the PIAA tournament and wound up advancing to the semifinals before bowing out.
This season, the Tigers moved swiftly through to the state finals where they ran into nationally-ranked Lower Dauphin (28-0), who downed the Tigers 3-0 to deny Northwestern their first state championship.
In a game that matched two teams that just missed district playoff berths, the Blue Mountain Eagles earned the Eastern Conference 4A Championship with a 51-30 win over Northwestern last Friday at Blue Mountain High School.
The Tigers were looking for their second Eastern Conference title in the last five years after falling just shy of playing in the District 11 tournament this season.
Moravian Academy controlled the game early against Northwestern in the Class A field hockey semifinals, but Northwestern regrouped and got back into the game. However, the top-seeded Lions were too much for the Tigers, as Moravian moved on to the finals with a 6-1 win over Northwestern.
Northwestern gave up five quick corners, but kept Moravian Academy from capitalizing on them. Many of Northwestern’s early passes seemed to be picked off by opposing players early in the game, as they struggled to keep the ball away from the front of their net.
When all was said and done for the Northwestern football team, it wasn’t quite where it wanted to be at the end of the 2016 football season.
The Tigers’ hopes of making districts were already gone coming into the season finale against Catasauqua, but with a 48-20 win, they not only salvaged a .500 season, but found themselves set to play Blue Mountain for the Eastern Conference Championship next week.
Northwestern opened the season with a number of young players replacing graduating seniors and nobody was quite sure what to expect. While there have been some rough spots, the Tigers have seen some of the young players develop well in their first full varsity season as starters, leaving things in good shape moving forward.
Sometimes, one just has to hand it to the other team. That’s what Northwestern had to do after losing 21-14 to rival Northern Lehigh in Bo and Brett’s Mountain Road Rumble last Friday.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, they also had to hand over the accompanying trophy that goes to the winner of the rivalry game and has been in the Northwestern trophy case for three straight years.