Things aren't fully in place for Liberty's basketball team, but another week on the calendar can hopefully shift the Hurricanes into the right direction.
Liberty (9-5, 6-2) ended last week on a high note by winning two straight after dropping another Lehigh Valley Conference contest in as many weeks, when Central Catholic (13-2) downed the 'Canes 68-56 last Tuesday.
Just days removed from sunny California, Bethlehem Catholic's wrestling team is back to brutally cold temperatures in Pennsylvania.
The Hawks came back from the Battle of the Belt tournament with a second place finish, as Darian Cruz came away with the lone title from Temecula Valley, but the focus now shifts to this week's even more important outlook.
Liberty's wrestling has solidified themselves in the upper tier of the Lehigh Valley Conference with the memorable season the 'Canes have put together.
Sitting at 12-3 overall and 5-1 in the LVC, the 'Canes are enjoying a memorable ride.
That ride continues this week with two marquee bouts on the calendar, in what may be the most exciting week of the season for Liberty.
The Hurricanes host Bethlehem Catholic (7-0, 5-0) at 7 p.m. Wednesday and then welcome Freedom (10-7, 1-3) at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
If Bethlehem Catholic got the proverbial 'monkey off their back' last Friday in enjoying their first Lehigh Valley Conference win of the season over Northampton, 76-54, head coach Mike Frew didn't feel any weight lifted off him.
A night removed from a 67-60 overtime victory at Stroudsburg, Frew just knew his team needed to buckle down and thump the struggling Kids (2-10).
Four Hawks were in double digits against the Kids, led by senior center Matt Husek's 19 points and sophomore point guard Freddie Simmons 14.
Dylan Brown gave Freedom their first lead of the night over Northampton with one bout to go, but the reality of the situation made it bitter sweet.
Brown's fall in 3:13 over Brandon Wallander at 106-pounds gave Freedom a temporary moment of accomplishment, as they held a 27-26 advantage, but it all ended Monday night with Northampton's Mike Sheetz (113) packed away Tyler Trapani with a pin to give the Kids a 32-27 victory.
Things are back on track at Freedom and it's been a sobering week at Liberty.
A week in the life of basketball coaches can go from being pleased to wondering when things will turn around.
For the Patriots, back-to-back wins over Allen and Nazareth closed out a three-game sweep on their schedule last week to pull themselves out of a below .500 mark into a 7-5 record heading into last night's tilt at Northampton.
Jeff Karam knows that keeping his Bethlehem Catholic wrestling team focused can be an issue at times.
Karam does have a program that is 6-0 on the season and has developed winning habits continually over the past three years.
Still, he saw a lack of intensity from his team during last week's 34-13 victory over Nazareth.
Whether the Hawks just came out flat, had a case of boredom or a bout of over confidence, that all should change this week.
Liberty continued their hot start to the season over the weekend, when they knocked off Northampton 35-20 to bolster their record to 5-0 on the year.
It was also the second time in the last 20 years that Liberty knocked the K-Kids off and that's something that head coach Jody Karam could look back on with a smile.
When you talk to basketball coaches around the Lehigh Valley Conference, there's a certain consensus regarding the hierarchy structure this winter.
There's Liberty and then there's everyone else.
The Hurricanes (6-2, 4-0) only two losses were to Philadelphia area teams over Christmas and they've won their other six games by an average of 20.8 points, five of which have come against LVC opponents.
So when some teams are looking to fix their rebounding woes, offensive flow or defensive intensity, Liberty is just looking for a game locally.
Disappointment. Wake-up call. Consistency.
All are words that come out of head coach Joe Stellato's mouth when he talks about Freedom's basketball season up to date.
Sitting with a 5-5 overall record and a subpar 1-3 mark in the Lehigh Valley Conference, the Patriots enter desperate measures this week with a three game slate.
Monday's 53-42 victory over Pocono Mountain West got their week off to a promising start with the road win.