The SportsTalk Shop: Basketball “Halftime” Report


Traditionally, the first half of the college and high school basketball seasons is…. a little peculiar.

Initially, the preseason schedule begins in the shadow of high school football playoff time—and some of the top basketball players aren’t even part of their basketball team for several weeks of the season due to their commitments on the gridiron.  College football rivalry games are in full swing, and many college basketball teams open their season with “Midnight Madness” (or extremely early morning) games or other events conducted while many of us are sleeping and/or are occupied with many other things going on during the latter half of November.

Then, when the football playoffs finally reach the championship, you’re bumping up against Christmas/holiday season.  Then, around the holidays, teams frequently travel to–or host–tournaments involving teams outside their regular area (and, if possible, get a few days to relax with their families).

After New Year’s there are inevitably a few games postponed due to the bad weather (or heavy concerns about a storm’s potential anyway).  Despite no heavy precipitation, both high school and college games in our coverage area have been affected on a couple of occasions already since we flipped the calendar.

Next thing you know, you’re at the halfway point of the high school and college basketball seasons, and it’s time to take stock about what’s gone on so far—and what lies ahead as teams start to jockey for the best playoff positions.

Which brings us to this week’s “SportsTalk” show…

Morning Call Sports Writers Keith Groller and Lynn Worthy will be on the program to break down the first half of both the local college and scholastic hoops season, and also talk NFL playoffs and other issues being debated in the world of sports this week.

And…we’ll also discuss our high school basketball poll in more detail on this week’s program, along with allowing you, our viewers, to chime in and make your opinions be known.

A bit of background on our HS basketball polls, which are a little unique from any other ranking system out there…

Our pollsters are comprised of a combination of local media members (Morning Call’s Keith Groller, RCN Sports Director Gary Laubach, RCN basketball Announcers Tom Stoudt and Dennis Laub and’s Toomey Anderson).  We also have three distinguished head basketball coaches giving their insights on the top teams in the Lehigh Valley area.  We won’t reveal the names of the head coaches to avoid any “bulletin board” material or repercussions towards them—and allow them to be honest about their picks.

All District XI schools are eligible for the poll and will be divided into either our “big schools” (5A & 6A classifications) or “small schools” (4A & below) polls within the RCN footprint.

The “small schools” consist of Wilson, Saucon Valley, Bethlehem Catholic, Northwestern, Wilson, Palisades, Palmerton, Salisbury, Notre Dame-GP, Palmerton, Pen Argyl, Northern Lehigh and Catasauqua.

The “big schools” are Bangor, Central, Southern Lehigh, Whitehall, Allen, Dieruff, Easton, Emmaus, Freedom, Liberty, Nazareth, E. Stroudsburg North & South, Pocono Mountain East, Pocono Mountain West, Stroudsburg, Northampton, Parkland, and Pleasant Valley.

So tune in to the show this Thursday at 7pm or catch the podcast at and let us know your basketball thoughts at the midway point of the season.

And a special note to our diehard wrestling fans: we’ll be taking a look at the action on the mats and previewing the upcoming post-season action on next week’s “SportsTalk” show (January 26 ).  If there’s a team, athlete or wrestling issue you’d like us to address on that show, be sure to email us at and tune-in for our panelists’ responses!

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.

Speak Your Mind