The Phantoms reached the halfway point of their season with what Phil Varone called an “embarrassing” performance in a 6-2 loss to Springfield Saturday night. Lehigh Valley came out with a good first period, but that was about all it was able to put together as the Thunderbirds scored four unanswered goals to waltz out of the PPL Center with a win.
Varone scored his 100th career AHL goal in the game, but was more focused on the weak effort that the team put on the ice.
Bethlehem Catholic won another Escape the Rock title over the weekend and they did it without any of their wrestlers winning titles.
The Hawks squeaked out a 173-171.5 advantage over Cincinnati La Salle (Ohio) for the team title, as Ryan Anderson (138), Cole Handlovic (145), Luca Frinzi (152) and Robert Spezza (195) each found themselves in the finals but all came home with silver medals.
Even a dynamic shooting display wasn’t enough to extinguish Bethlehem Catholic last Friday night.
Freedom nailed 15 three-pointers against the Hawks, but couldn’t pull out the victory, as Ryan Young scored a game-high 31 points to help lead Becahi to an 81-76 win over the rival Patriots.
The win pushed the Hawks mark to 10-1 on the season, winners of eight straight and Friday’s contest was the closest anyone in the EPC has pushed them this season.
If there’s one sentiment that Freedom players should have taken away from their 81-76 loss to Bethlehem Catholic last Friday night, it’s that they can compete with anyone.
The Patriots (6-7) became the first team in the Lehigh Valley to push Becahi (10-1) to the limit in last week’s affair, but just as 10 other teams have tried this season to knock off the Hawks, Joe Stellato’s bunch came up on the wrong side of the box score in the defeat.
On the surface of Liberty’s 41-9 defeat to Bethlehem Catholic last week, it looks like the Hurricanes might be far off the Hawks path, but Liberty head coach Jody Karam likes to think they’re just a step behind.
Last week’s defeat was the first for the Hurricanes (14-1) this season and likely will be their last dual meet defeat heading into the postseason, but it wasn’t a giant step backward for the blue collar bunch, rather an opportunity to restore some hunger as they move forward this winter.
Freedom’s girls’ swim team took a tough loss to Pocono Mountain East 94-86 last Tuesday at Freedom.
The Patriots were behind at the diving event, went ahead, but came up short in the end.
Pocono Mountain East scored 12 major points by taking first and second place in the 200 free relay.
Freedom’s Linda Mao and Abby Burnette won the 100 backstroke in 1:15.51 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:14.99, respectively, but the Cardinals’ first and third place finishes in the 400 free relay sealed the win for Pocono Mountain East.
According to Chris Mohry, owner of Chris’s Outdoor Sports Shop in Mertztown, this is the best early ice fishing season he’s seen in many years.
Said Mohry, “I cannot remember any year that has been better than this, thanks to the early frigid temps we’ve had.” And his ice fishing report is enthusiastic.
Freedom did Freedom last Friday night, and they did it just fine.
That was the plan, going into their home girls’ basketball game against Bethlehem Catholic, where the Patriots came up with a 66-59 victory over the Hawks.
“I’m a senior, and I know I can speak for all the seniors when I say this was a very good win, and I’m so happy we got this, and I’m overwhelmed with how great I feel right now,” said Kyra Jefferson. “Yes, doing Freedom. This is definitely one of our high points in the season, and I’m excited to see more.”
How do the Freedom Patriots keep up their intensity when they have a 30-point lead by halftime?
“You just have to run your stuff, and play them like you would play Beca or Easton,” said Freedom senior Kyra Jefferson. “You want to improve with every game.”
The Patriots hosted Emmaus on Jan. 9 and scored a 53-15 victory over the Hornets.
Freedom divers Leigha Evans, Fallon Tatlow, and Sarah Gill scored 13 important points for the Patriots in their swim meet against Pocono Mountain East last week at Freedom.
Gill had the highest score of the day with 186.45 points.
“I think my best one was my reverse two because I just got it about a week ago, and I got a higher score than I thought I would,” Gill said. “With diving it’s hard to tell where you land when you go into the water, so you don’t know if it’s really good or kind of good.”