Bethlehem Press

Saturday, December 7, 2019
Press photo by Don HerbMalek Mims and the Freedom boys basketball team remained one of the hotter teams in the EPC and are in a battle with Becahi, which also continues to win games. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ Press photo by Don HerbMalek Mims and the Freedom boys basketball team remained one of the hotter teams in the EPC and are in a battle with Becahi, which also continues to win games. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_

Hawks and Pates continue their hot streaks

Thursday, January 17, 2019 by Peter Car pcar@tnonline.com in Sports

Bethlehem Catholic and Freedom both entered this week’s play as the hottest teams in the East Penn Conference.

The Hawks (10-2) were riding a six game win streak coming into the week, while Freedom (10-2) was winners of nine straight games.

With both teams playing in the Steel Division, it’ll make for an interesting stretch for both teams, as they take on this week’s calendar.

For the Hawks, coming together under first-year head coach Scott McClary has been all about buying in.

“The biggest factor in our success thus far has been our players buying into our culture,” said McClary. “They have all sacrificed something in their own way to put the team before their own needs. Physically speaking, it has been our ability to dictate the game to our opponents with our aggressive style. We want to play fast on both ends and make you play faster than you want to. We want to see the game in the 70s and 80s, which is a challenge without a shot clock.”

The Hawks have tormented teams this year with their offensive pace, averaging 73.4 points a game and McClary feels their comfort zone in the system has helped them run off to a fast start to the season.

“The players are definitely getting more and more comfortable as each week progresses,” McClary said. “That is not just because we have a new coaching staff, I think this is something that every team goes through as each season is a brand-new team with different roles and different challenges. Players during the high school years are changing so quickly in so many ways. We are certainly ahead of where we were two months ago, but I hope we are somewhere completely different another month from now. I am really proud of what we have accomplished thus far and I am truly excited about the challenges that lie ahead.”

Becahi’s slate this week features East Stroudsburg South (8-5), Whitehall (7-7) and Pocono Mountain East (10-3).

Freedom (10-2) is tied with Becahi for the top spot in the EPC heading into this week after the Pates registered impressive wins over Northampton (8-5) and Parkland (9-4) last week. They have a four game slate this week with Pocono Mountain East (10-3), Quakertown, East Stroudsburg North (2-11) and Bangor (11-2).

Liberty (7-5) reeled off two important wins over Whitehall and Emmaus last week to give them a shot of momentum heading into the second half of the season.

The Hurricanes take on Pleasant Valley (0-12), East Stroudsburg South (8-5) and Southern Lehigh (6-7) in an important week that could help their cause towards clinching a district berth.