With three games left in the Allentown Summer Basketball League season, defending state champ Reading sits atop the Large-School Division, while undefeated Faith Christian leads the Small-School Division.
Teams will have off Thursday while many partake in this weekend’s A-Town Throwdown, which is part of the annual SportsFest. The summer league will be back at Cedar Beach on Tuesday, July 18.
LARGE SCHOOL DIVISION
Reading 7 - 1
Central Catholic 7 - 2
Allen 4 - 2
Bangor 7 - 3
Wilson West Lawn 7 - 3
Dieruff 6 - 3
At the beginning of the season, the Emmaus Connie Mack Baseball Team didn’t strike many as a championship contender.
Dropping four of its first seven games, the Hornets initially struggled to keep themselves above .500, unable to find their footing in the league standings. In their eighth matchup, however, Emmaus finally changed tracks, doing so practically overnight. Coming off a 7-4 loss to Wilson the day before, the Hornets devastated Moore Township 11-5, barely recognizable as the same team they were 24 hours earlier.
After a fierce storm moved through the Lehigh Valley Saturday, forcing the postponement of most of the day’s Lehigh Valley Legion games, Lower Macungie had to regroup on Sunday, the final day of the regular season, and play two games at different locations.
After a 7-2 win over North Parkland early in the afternoon, the team reassembled about 30 miles to the north to face Carbon County at Lehighton High School, where things didn’t go nearly as well with the Monarchs downing Lower Mac 12-2.
Lehigh Valley’s Carpenter Cup softball team, which included Emmaus players Maddy Clark, Hannah Palinkas and Alexis Ruth, finished the Carpenter Cup tournament in fourth place last month at FDR Park in Philadelphia.
Lehigh Valley’s last game, which was against Delaware County North, ended in an 8-7 loss for Lehigh Valley, its second loss in the double-elimination tournament.
“A lot of us thought we had it in the bag,” said Clark. “It was stressful because they started hitting the gap.”
Just as most coaches are after a loss, Emmaus Legion manager Tom Cichocki was admittedly not feeling too great after a 4-1 loss to South Parkland in the regular season finale on Sunday.
The loss brought out more frustration than anything in Cichocki, because of how the team lost, thanks in part to bad calls from umpires early in the game and an uninspired performance from his team.
On back-to-back plays in the second inning, the field umpire missed two obvious calls and refused to ask the home plate umpire for a second opinion when asked by Cichocki.
As it turned out, when the Emmaus and Lower Macungie Lehigh Valley Legion rosters were set for the 2017 season, Lower Macungie got much of the younger talent. The Mustangs did get some quality pitching, including Matt Lanzone, who was the ace of the Emmaus varsity staff this past season. They also got senior Todd Moxey, who can contribute both at the plate and on the mound, and first baseman/pitcher Adam LeMaster.
The Emmaus boys basketball team proved to the Lehigh Valley that it would be just fine without two of the program’s all-time great players in David and Matthew Kachelries, who graduated this past May.
New leaders have emerged this summer, and the Green Hornets haven’t skipped a beat.
With the Emmaus Legion team hovering right around the .500 mark this season, a Sunday doubleheader against rival Lower Macungie seemed the perfect spot for the team to try to burst out for a late season run.
After taking the opener 6-5, Lower Macungie rallied back in the second game to grab a 7-6 win over Emmaus, splitting the two games.
In the opener, Emmaus got an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning when Eric Cichocki led off the game with a ground ball to short that was booted, allowing Cichocki to reach base.
In its opening matchups, the Lower Macungie Connie Mack baseball team seemed the pre-eminent contender for the league title. Lower Mac opened the season by dominating its first four opponents, scoring a cumulative total of 37 runs and blowing out two opponents, Catasauqua and Bangor, by 10-run margins.
Lower Mac owed its early success to its command behind the plate.
““To start, we’re hitting the ball pretty well, which is opposite of previous years,” said head coach Tim Hertzog. “We’re winning a lot of high-scoring games.”
The Lehigh Valley Carpenter Cup baseball team lost in the opening round of this year’s tournament, falling to Jersey Shore Thursday 4-2.
Lehigh Valley struck out 15 times in the nine-inning game and managed just three hits off Jersey Shore, which used five pitchers in the game.
“We expected more out of our bats,” said LV head coach Ted Plessl. “Other than one hanging curveball we were in the ballgame, but down here we know you have to score runs in order to compete. They’re all good hitters but we just didn’t get it done today at the plate.”