Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
File photoKyle Young and the Hawks are on top of the EPC basketball standings. Copyright - Digital_Media_Magic_LLC_Nazareth_PA File photoKyle Young and the Hawks are on top of the EPC basketball standings. Copyright - Digital_Media_Magic_LLC_Nazareth_PA
Press photo by Rob MerchantFreedom’s Jordan McTier battles with Liberty’s Alijah Cannon during a recent matchup. Copyright - Digital_Media_Magic_LLC_Nazareth_PA Press photo by Rob MerchantFreedom’s Jordan McTier battles with Liberty’s Alijah Cannon during a recent matchup. Copyright - Digital_Media_Magic_LLC_Nazareth_PA

Boys hoops: Hawks are on top

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 by Peter Car pcar@tnonline.com in Sports

Bethlehem Catholic coach Scott McClary still feels like his Golden Hawks have room for improvement and that may be a scary proposition for opposing teams heading into the postseason.

The Hawks (17-3, 13-1) enter the final week of the regular season first place in their division and the top-seed in the East Penn Conference with games against Dieruff (3-16) and Allen (11-7) this week.

With Becahi in prime position to head into the EPC playoffs with the number-one seed and only one regular season loss, McClary is taking it all in stride.

“It’s not so much grabbing the top seed, as it is winning the regular season championship,” said McClary. “I have always said that winning a regular season title should be celebrated more than it is. It is the hardest thing to do as you must be good for a longer period of time versus a higher number of opponents than just winning a tournament in three games. Winning the EPC is hard to do and if we are able to pull it off, we will be very proud.”

Last week was an exclamation point endeavor for the Hawks too, as they recorded a 73-71, overtime win over Freedom, a 77-66 win over Easton and a 78-70 victory over Pocono Mountain East in the span of three days against three teams that are playoff bound.

All three wins helped push them to the top of the conference and also provided a bit more cushion in the Steel Division.

“Playing three games in three days against very good teams was really tough,” McClary said. “I expect all three of those teams are going to be in the EPCs and districts. To go 3-0 is quite an accomplishment and a testament to the players. They prepared well and showed a tremendous amount of heart and physical effort.”

With the EPC tournament slated to get underway this weekend, McClary is hoping his team can keeping raising their level of play.

“I do not feel as though we are playing our best basketball right now,” he said. “I am guessing every team feels the same way. We are constantly looking at ways to make today a little bit better than what yesterday was. Teams get to know you more as the season gets on and the challenges get harder. The teams that stay focused on improving and stay focused on having a great culture, are the ones that have the best chance at extending their season.”

Despite Freedom’s loss to Becahi last week, the Patriots (16-4, 11-3) are still in position to grab a top-three seed in the EPC tournament as they finish off the week with Allen and Easton (10-9).

Liberty (10-9) is seeing its season come down to the wire, as the Hurricanes need one win in their three contests this week against Easton, Allen or Dieruff to clinch a district berth.

The Hurricanes have lost three-straight heading into this week and appear on the outside looking in for an EPC playoff berth.