Summer Hoops ’18 (Part 3)

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The Cedar Beach Summer Basketball League wrapped up this past weekend, culminating with a thrilling championship game!

First of all, huge congratulations are in order for the 2018 summer champs–the Easton Red Rovers boys’ basketball team.

Easton features a number of talented players who got valuable experience on the varsity level last year and probably didn’t get the attention they deserved for having a great winter season (we saw a number of impressive victories by the Rovers on RCN-TV last year).

Those returning players held off another team we’ll be talking about this winter–Emmaus–who had the distinction of playing in all three major boys title games held within the Lehigh Valley area.

Check back to “The SportsTalk Shop” next week for our gallery of the summer hoops in-game action.

In the meantime, here are a few more notes of interest for Lehigh Valley basketball fans from this summer’s action…

  • There is certainly a lot of balance since Bethlehem Catholic boys’ Golden Hawks continue to be the area’s most dominant Lehigh Valley team. Allentown Central Catholic, last year’s “#2” squad, so far, look like it has come back to the pack a bit. In talking with Dieruff Head Coach Joe Jarjous recently, he’s among those believing that a number of teams (including his own) will be improved and that several programs featuring an abundance of youth have really played well and will show great improvement by the time the school year starts.
  • The Becahi girls have been equally as dominate as their boys teams, although Nazareth is taking great strides. They’ve been participating in tournaments both inside and outside of the Lehigh Valley region. Among the Blue Eagles’ top efforts…they ran the table in the “June” edition of the Holy Name basketball tournament and finished with a perfect 9-0 record in a pool against a number of strong programs.
  • The Northampton boys’ team lost two of its’ biggest scoring machines (Cody Weisenberger and Aiden Ellwood) from last year’s team. I talked with Head Coach Coy Stampone and he said he thought there’s definitely some rebuilding that will have to be done with his program this year. However, upon a closer look at the way his team played this summer:

…He’s playing a couple players who actually will make his squad bigger than last year’s (thanks to my “SportsTalk” co-host Keith Groller for pointing that out).

…Stampone is very high on some of his JV players from a year ago who look like they’re progressing at a nice rate and could contribute more than initially projected.

…Don’t forget, the K-Kids played tremendous defense a year ago, leading the team to some of the biggest wins of the season. Most of those defensive-minded players are returning, so if they can find a couple sure-handed scoring options (especially among the big men), don’t count on Northampton’s “rebuilding” taking very long.

We’ll have our final look at high school summer league action and more news, notes and images next week here at “The Shop.”

For more local summer basketball action, be sure to check out this year’s “Tournament of Champions” held at the Catasauqua playground. RCN-TV’s Gary Laubach and Tom Stoudt will have the call and all the excitement of this year’s event…this Thursday evening on RCN-TV.

And…coming up over the next few weeks on “SportsTalk,” we’ll be featuring defending District XI boys and girls fall sports champions, along with high school and Lafayette College football interviews as we get you ready for the upcoming fall sports season. “Official” high school sports practices commence this Monday–where did the summer go?