The Colonial League basketball playoffs got underway Saturday. While the top two seeds in boys and girls had byes into the semifinals, four quarterfinal games were contested Saturday.
For more about your local teams see this week’s issues of the Lehigh Valley Press.
Colonial League Playoffs
The No. 3 seed Falcons beat No. 6 Moravian Academy 65-54 in their Colonial League quartefinal game.
Were you entertained?
Saturday’s PIAA 3A wrestling state championship between Bethlehem Catholic and Nazareth came down to the final bout, where the winner took all and Zac Kiefer instantly became a Nazareth legend, following his 2-1 victory over Tavion Banks in the 170-pound finale to give the Blue Eagles a 30-29 state championship victory over Bethlehem Catholic.
It was a stunning match from start to finish and that we’ll likely never see again.
It’ll also be one that Hawks’ head coach Jeff Karam will never forget either, of course, for all the wrong reasons.
With the PIAA extending to six classes in boys basketball, Northwestern could have made the District 11 playoffs, even without the .500 win-loss record. The Tigers slim chances went to none on Thursday night.
With a win necessary to keep the playoff hopes alive, Northwestern (7-13 overall, 5-12 Colonial League) fell to Salisbury, 70-45, in a Colonial League boys basketball game on Thursday night in New Tripoli.
In the finals basketball games of the 2016-17 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference season, Bethlehem Catholic knocked off Allen, the state’s top ranked team, while several other games were contested on the league’s final night before Friday’s playoffs begin.
For more about your local teams see this week’s editions of the Lehigh Valley Press.
The Golden Hawks handed the state’s top-ranked team its first loss of the season, 68-56 in overtime.
The Salisbury and Northwestern girls basketball teams had polar opposite games offensively and defensively.
The Falcons were unable to score double digits until the third quarter, but the Tigers reached the 30-point mark before then.
Northwestern (12-5 overall, 8-3 Colonial League) used its size and defense to stifle Salisbury (10-7, 6-5) into its second lowest scoring effort on the season as the Tigers won 50-25 last Thursday night at Salisbury High School.
Just call them marathon men.
Three matches. One day. And almost a fourth.
Northwestern once again went through the gauntlet at the District 11 Team Championships Saturday at Freedom High School.
Only this time, the Tigers were unable to successfully navigate the same course they charted a year ago at Joseph J. McIntyre Gymnasium.
After losing to Saucon Valley 63-9 in the championship semifinals, Northwestern responded with a 42-30 win to bounce Pen Argyl and advance to the consolation final.
But Northwestern’s run ended there.
The Colonial League announced its boys and girls playoff brackets this week. Six boys and girls team advanced to the league playoffs and opening round action begins on Saturday, Feb. 11, for both the boys and girls.
At the top of the boys bracket, three-seed Salisbury plays host to six-seed Moravian Academy at 7 p.m. The winner of this game advances to play second-seed Southern Lehigh. This game takes place at Catasauqua at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15.
The Tigers beat Catasauqua 77-73 on a three-pointer by Ryan Hippensteel with 6.8 seconds left in the game.
Hippensteel, a senior playing in his final high school game, scored a career-high 13 points in the game, while teammate Rob Seyfried had 29 and Sam Yadush and Trevor Cunningham added 12 points apiece for Northwestern (8-14 overall, 6-12 Colonial League).
Catasauqua (8-13, 8-10) was led by Isaiah Graves with 27 points.
The Falcons outscored Southern Lehigh 70-60.
With the way the fourth quarter had started, Northwestern was fortunate enough to get a potential game-tying three-pointer off in the final seconds. And a wide open one at that.
Pen Argyl led by 14 points on two separate occasions early in the fourth, but Northwestern was able to steadily chip away. That set up the possibility for overtime with the Tigers down by three points with 9.5 seconds to play.
Salisbury High School center midfielder Ethan Heydt and Quakertown High School forward Victoria Sturgess were named 2016 Soccer Scholar Athletes at the Lehigh Valley Soccer Scholar Athlete Awards Banquet on Jan. 29 at Northampton Memorial Community Center in Northampton.
Heydt and Sturgess were among 76 nominees from 40 high schools throughout the area who were selected jointly by their coaches and the school administration. The Soccer Scholar Athlete Committee then selected the overall winners.