Just a week ago, it looked as if the road to another championship appearance in the Blue Mountain League would be easy for Limeport.
The Bulls, who finished the regular season with the No. 1 seed in the playoffs at 25-11, quickly built a 2-0 series lead against the Northampton Giants. A pitching spectacle from ace Adam Maini in Game 1 led to an 8-0 win. A 7-5 victory the next day brought the Bulls within one win of their fourth championship appearance in six years.
After plenty of success in the Tri-County ranks in recent years, the Northern Yankees transitioned to the Blue Mountain League a year ago with much of the same triumph. In their inaugural BML season, the Yankees were one of the final four teams standing in last year's playoffs.
But a 1-0 series lead in the semifinals against Limeport quickly diminished to a 3-1 series defeat in a matter of days, leaving an uneasy feeling in the Yankees' stomachs.
When Tim Hertzog took over the Lower Macungie Connie Mack team this summer, he would have been pleased with a .500 record.
Lower Mac achieved more than that, and one win separated the Mustangs from a potential spot in the state tournament. After a 10-8 record in the regular season, a 2-1 series defeat to Nazareth was the only thing that kept Lower Mac from being one of six teams representing the Lehigh Valley in states.
And while Hertzog would have enjoyed that stage with such a young team, he's particularly proud of how Lower Mac finished 2015.
Lower Macungie wasn't able to field a team for the 2014 Lehigh Valley Legion season, but came back strong this season, getting off to an 8-1 start. It was at that point though that things took a turn and could have gone very badly for the team, if not for the coaches and players not allowing things to fall apart.
Lower Macungie pictured a much different end to its Lehigh Valley Legion season than what it encountered Sunday in the Region 2 playoffs. The Mustangs exited after just two games in the double-elimination tournament with losses to Perkiomen and Muhlenberg in their first two games of the event, which was held in Freemansburg.
Muhlenberg eliminated Lower Macungie in a 7-6 game that went 10 innings. Muhlenberg scored a quick run in the bottom of the tenth on a double, sacrifice bunt and an RBI single that pushed across the winning run.
Every summer, the main goal for the Emmaus boys basketball team is to reach Sunday at the Stellar Catch A Rising Star Tournament.
The Green Hornets are always looking to play well, win games, and improve as a team to gain experience for the winter season, but moving on to Sunday is the benchmark each team looks for.
Down two players in injured starters Joey Polczynski and David Kachelries, Emmaus won two games and advanced to Sunday's final day.
The Lower Macungie Legion team had to battle a long, hot road, but its come through the other side. The Mustangs have earned both a shot at the Lehigh Valley League playoff championship and a spot in the Regional 2 playoffs.
Lower Macungie clinched both spots with a 4-2 win over upstart Fullerton Monday night at Parkland High School. Lower Mac came in as the three-seed in the tournament, while Fullerton was ranked seventh and had to survive a play-in game against Salisbury to even gain a spot in the postseason.
It is something telling of a team that can advance to Sunday, the final day of competition at Stellar's Catch a Rising Star tournament at Cedar Beach park. It is the main goal for each team in it.
It may not have been the hardest of ways, but the Emmaus girls basketball team was still on the court on Sunday at Cedar Beach.
Two forfeits helped the Hornets along the way, but first-year head coach Carl Scheitrum was still pleased with the way his team played to make it to the final day.
Emmaus came into the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs having lost its last three regular season games, with the last two being one-run losses to South Parkland and West Allentown.
While not playing particularly well, Emmaus had high hopes based on a recent four-game win streak that pushed the team above the .500 mark.
In a back-and-forth game on the final day of the Stellar Summer League regular season, the Emmaus boys basketball team was able to come back, and then hold on to its lead as it played extra time in a 68-63 win against Southern Lehigh last Thursday night at Cedar Beach.
Joey Polczynski and Kevin Wambold (4 points) had key baskets, and Brandon Rapose (6 points) and Matt Kachelries (16 points) combined to go 5-for-6 from the free throw line to seal the game in overtime.