HOOPS POLLS: 3/16/21

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

Here’s three local sports observations as we head into the first week of the PIAA state basketball playoffs.

1)  It was good to feel “normal” last week…our sports crew produced nine high school basketball games over a 74-hour span.

For me, it was hectic contacting coaches, compiling information, distributing it to the different members of our crew and then broadcasting the games themselves.

Hectic…but enjoyable!

We are “normally” quite busy doing this at this time of year (and I didn’t get much sleep last week), but it’s what we have been used to over the years and it felt good to have that “rush” again before and during all those games.  The best part was crowning champions–and we did just that for seven of the eight local teams from our coverage area.

A special shout out to this year’s district basketball champions from Notre Dame-Green Pond, Executive Education Charter Academy, Bangor, Bethlehem Catholic, Nazareth, Allen and the Allentown Central Catholic boys and girls teams.

You may have noticed that most of this year’s winning teams were “non-boundary schools.”  That has been a source of a lot of commentary among local sports fans over the last few days.  We’ll have more on that aspect of the winter sports season, along with the changing landscape of high school sports, coming up over the next few weeks on “SportsTalk” and here at “The Shop.””

2) Of the teams that were victorious, most face stiff competition right off the bat.  With the state playoffs brackets drastically reduced, we won’t see many of those “blow out” games we typically see through the first two rounds of the PIAAs, which should make for better basketball all the way around.

Be sure to refer to the RCN TV broadcast schedule for our listing of teams, days and times of our coverage of local teams over the next few weeks–provided teams keep winning (it is a single elimination tournament!)

3)  Time for us to take a look at this week’s high school basketball or teams in the RCN viewing area within District XI boundaries.

With constant uncertainty throughout the winter months, our pollsters still did a credible job of picking our teams each week.  

For this winter, we are breaking the two polls down into the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference (Lehigh Valley teams only) and Colonial League schools, within the RCN broadcast area.  

Like the fall, our pollsters will consist of local media members and coaches/administrators from our local teams, who will remain anonymous so they can vote honestly without retribution and to avoid any “bulletin board” material.  Our media members will reveal themselves when they appear on our show (and if they don’t and have “bad picks,” I’ll be sure to point that out to our audience!:)

So below we have high school polls for both leagues, along with the listing of all of the teams that are included in our respective categories.

Feel free to email me at Chris.Michael@rcn.net for your thoughts on this week’s poll and we might read and respond to your emails on this week’s SportsTalk show.

EPC-LV TOP 5

1)   Allen

2)  Central Catholic

3)  Parkland

4)  Easton*

5)  Northampton

*Season concluded due to school district protocols

Eligible Teams (in no particular order):

Central Catholic, Bethlehem Catholic, Easton, Freedom, Liberty, Dieruff, Allen, Parkland, Whitehall, Emmaus, Nazareth, and Northampton


COLONIAL TOP 5

1)   Bangor               

2)  Notre Dame

3)  Northwestern

4)  Palmerton

5)  Southern Lehigh

Eligible Teams (in no particular order):

Bangor, Pen Argyl, Notre Dame – Green Pond, Wilson, Catasauqua, Salisbury, Saucon Valley, Northwestern, Northern Lehigh, Southern Lehigh and Palisades

Be sure to bookmark our high school winter sports broadcast schedule here on the website and check it frequently throughout the next two weeks for our coverage of the PIAA playoffs!

Chris Michael About Chris Michael

Chris handles play-by-play for RCN sports events, including baseball, football & basketball games and produces/hosts the station’s 60-minute live call-in show. Among Chris’s other responsibilities include reporting on local news & sports stories, conducting “Take 5” interviews with community and political leaders, producing commercials, voiceovers and promos; and generating blog entries and videos on the internet. Click here to listen to the weekly Sports Talk podcast.

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