Throughout the first 12 minutes of Liberty's game against Freedom on Saturday, it did not appear that it would be a good day for the Hurricanes.
Not only did the Patriots have home-court advantage, but Freedom was determined to avenge its three-point loss to the Hurricanes earlier this season.
Who knew that Maggie Zerbe's bucket with 3:25 to go in the second quarter would only be the start of an 11-point run by the Hurricanes, rallying from a 20-9 deficit, and holding Freedom to only one point?
Connor Harrigan, Trevor Watlington, Cameron Bell, and Sam Magnan opened Freedom's swim meet against Central Catholic with a 1:51.86 victory in the 200 medley relay, leading to an overall 107.5-64.5 win over the Vikings last week.
Scott DelFranco took first place in the 200 free in 1:47.69, followed by Magnan and Harrigan.
"Even though it wasn't my best time of the year, I felt really smooth and refreshed. It felt really good," said DelFranco.
DelFranco also took first place in the 100 backstroke in 57.92.
Freedom's girls swim team had three one-two-three finishes in its 135-44 victory over Central Catholic last week.
Shannon Howell, Molly Magnan, and Rachael Giles finished the 200 free consecutively. Howell's time was 1:59.58.
"It feels really good, and it motivates me a lot to try hard and practice. I swim for a club team and this team, and [Coach] Reik [Foust] helps me out with technique and turns. My club coach, Ryan Woodruff, helps me too," said Howell.
Sixty seconds could not tick off the clock fast enough for Freedom to hold on for a two-point victory over Emmaus, and there was only one word that could express the Patriots' 37-36 loss.
"Disappointed," said Freedom center/forward, Ashley Husser.
On a pass from Husser in the final minute, Freedom guard, Ashley Gordon, scored to put the Patriots ahead, 36-34, when the Hornets called a timeout.
Tears of joy flowed for Liberty's girls swim team as the Hurricanes tied Emmaus, 93-93, something Liberty had not achieved against the Hornets in 20 years.
Liberty captain, Emma Williams, said, "My mom was in the stands, and she was crying, and [Coach] Reik [Foust] was crying. All week, we kind of prepped ourselves, and our coaches really buckled down and got the best line-up. We knew it was going to be head-to-head."
Adding to the drama was the fact that the Hurricanes were two points behind at the time of the final event of the day, the 400 free relay.
Sometimes a rivalry game can be just as meaningful as a championship one, which was the case in Bethlehem Catholic's 48-37 victory over Liberty last Friday night.
Even a 14-point Hurricane deficit at the end of three quarters could not diminish the intensity of what proved to be a physical game, if nothing else.
"[I'm not surprised] at all. We're both rivals, and we're the only undefeated team in the LVC, so all the other teams step it up even more," said Becahi guard, Nicole Lacherza.
Handling the intensity was a game within itself.
Although the Hurricanes were ten points ahead, halfway through their swim meet against Nazareth, Liberty knew the Blue Eagles could not be taken lightly.
In addition, Liberty swim coach Reik Foust, and diving coach, Jeff Zettlemoyer, make it a practice to not cash in on diving points when the other team, in this case, Nazareth, has no divers. On top of that, the meet would be scored as a six-lane rather than an eight-lane meet.
Freedom High School's competition cheerleading squad won the silver medal in the large division at the District XI Cheerleading Competition on Saturday at Easton Area Middle School.
The Patriots' second-place victory earned them the right to compete at the PIAA State Cheerleading Competition on Feb. 2 in Hershey, Pa.
"I'm very proud of them. I think they rose to the challenge and did an excellent job. Nothing pleases me more than when they look like they're having fun out there," said Freedom cheerleading coach Alicia Zito.
Like the Liberty boys swim team, the Liberty girls were hoping for an eight-lane meet against Nazareth last week, but in spite of it all, the Hurricanes landed on top, 123-61 last Thursday.
Emily Cecchini, Anita Kundla, Rachel Rider, and Maggie Olock opened the meet with a victory in the 200 medley relay in 1:58.69.
Olock said, "Swimming last is more fun. First is harder because you have to set the pace of the team."
In individual events, Jocelyn Baker won the 200 free in 2:03.91 and the 500 free in 5:24.88.
Liberty's senior night resulted in a 52-34 victory over Emmaus last Tuesday.
After a 21-16 Hurricane lead at the half, the Hornets threatened in the third quarter, pressing on defense and pulling to within one point.
"I think they played really good defense the whole game, but our guards handled it well," said senior, Maggie Zerbe, who had ten points on the night.