Bethlehem Press

Monday, November 18, 2019

Freedom basketball wins first Summer Jam

Thursday, August 15, 2019 by Peter Car pcar@tnonline.com in Sports

Freedom has a knack at winning titles in the summer. Head coach Joe Stellato hopes that can translate to championship aspirations in the winter.

The Patriots won the first annual Lehigh Valley Summer Slam last weekend at Dieruff, knocking off the Huskies 62-55 in the final.

Malek and Caleb Mims combined for 36 points in the championship game to lift the Pates to the title.

“We had so many guys contribute,” said Stellato. “Malek and Caleb brought the energy and excitement on both sides of the floor and the rest of the guys played their roles perfectly. What is great with this team, including the Mims, is that they don’t care who scores, who gets the credit, and whose name is in the headlines. What this team cares about is playing defense and winning games. That makes it a fun group to coach. They have really bought into the team aspect and play together. You can’t ask for anything more.”

Last weekend’s event was the first time Freedom had their entire team together during the summer and proved that they will be a team to contend with when winter rolls around.

“What was different about this win was that we had are entire team show up and bring a lot of energy for the tournament,” Stellato said. “It felt like a middle of the season league game. That is how my players played it. Not like it was an outside pickup game like some of the summer games can be.

David Barnes, Samir Georges, and Nick Ellis played great and showed me that they can handle the varsity level. Frank Falco really stood out in hitting huge shots all weekend. Malik Mims was MVP of the tournament and really showcased his talents. Caleb Mims was consistent as always and the other guards came in played their roles.”

Winning breeds confidence and the Pates hope they can take that momentum further in the offseason.

“Winning shows these kids that we are building off of the great season we had last year, “Stellato said, “and that we do not need to look back on who we lost as seniors, but move forward and have this group of players step up.”