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.
Teams like to go into the postseason on a hot streak. For Lower Macungie, that's not necessarily the case as the Mustangs finished the season having lost three of their last four games. Of course, two of those games were against North Parkland and South Parkland, the top two teams in the league.
North Parkland finished the season as the regular season champions with a 17-1 record. South Parkland finished at 14-4, but was the only team to defeat the Buffaloes during the regular season.
You never quite know what you're going to get when you play Emmaus. That fact could make the Hornets a dangerous team heading into the Lehigh Valley Legion tournament.
At times, Emmaus (8-10) has looked it they can beat just about anybody and at other times, it has struggled mightily. The tools are there, it's just a matter of putting things together to make it all work.