The SportsTalk Shop: 2016 HS Winter Sports Wrap II

Before we turn our attention to the spring sports season, we continue our final look back at the high school winter sports season in the Lehigh Valley region with video and recognition of some amazing performances.

“Dynasty-Making”
I’ve seen some great District XI Class 3A girls basketball teams over the years and, quite frankly, have watched  some rather boring district playoff games (due to one team being SO good).  However, the Southern Lehigh girls’ basketball team turned in one of the most dominant performances ever this winter.  In addition to a phenomenal regular season (they lost just their season opening game to Dunbar), the Spartans won every other game the rest of the way until they lost to Berks Catholic (with a chance to win at the buzzer) in the second round of the state playoffs.

The Spartans lost two very key seniors.  However, the team’s core–four of their five starters—is back next year.  Solehi should have no trouble building on this winter’s legacy with dominant playoff runs in the league, district and state playoffs for years to come.  Their players are a multi-dimensionally talented team AND fundamentally sound (a GREAT combination), and should have no trouble putting together successful campaigns in 2017 and beyond.

We talked quite a bit about the overall competitiveness and great amount of depth in girls’ basketball a few weeks back here at “The Shop.” Like many of the other programs we’ve seen or talked about this winter, there was a ton of talent on display, with many teams returning most of their key players. As I stated on last week’s “SportsTalk” show and podcast, I’m looking at Easton (who returns virtually everyone) to be the team-to-beat on the Eastern Pennsylvania Girls Conference side.  With many other underclassmen back in 2017, expect Nazareth, Northampton and many of other teams involved in this winter’s playoffs to be right back in the post-season again next year.

“A Return to Glory”
In addition to a tremendous season (and another state championship) for the Bethlehem Catholic wrestling team this season, there were many individual stars here in the Valley.  As usual (but following a minor dip last year), District XI was well-represented in the state tournament in Hershey, with eight gold medalists and 20 overall metal winners.  Special props go to Liberty’s Andrew Gunning who captured the school’s first PIAA individual wrestling title in over 30 years.

We invite you to go back to hear many of the teams and individual wrestlers discussed on our “SportsTalk” podcasts  from this winter.

Here’s a look at highlights from RCN-TV’s wrestling coverage during the second half of the wrestling season.

There were also outstanding accomplishments this winter by local swimmers, with their season culminating last week with the PIAA meets.  Congrats to Salisbury’s Mahlon Reihman for being named swimmer of the state meet, who beat out fellow District XI competitor Gabe Castano (Allentown Central Catholic) for the Class AA gold in the 100-meter freestyle.  Like wrestling, there were numerous Lehigh Valley athletes in the water who also posted solid performances at last weekend’s final events.

Let us know what were your top moments, teams and athletes from this past winter.  Email us at RCNSportsTalk@rcn.com and tune in Thursdays, 7-8 pm, to hear us talk about your local teams on our “RCN SportsTalk” program.  This Thursday will be our final “winter show” and your last opportunity to talk about this recently completed scholastic season in the RCN viewing area.

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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