Allentown Central Catholic returns through heat to win big school championship at Cedar Beach Basketball Showcase – The Morning Call
Allentown Central Catholic played at 10 a.m. Sunday and lost to Muhlenberg Township.
That meant the Vikings’ path to the championship game at the 26th Annual Cedar Beach Basketball Showcase had to go through a long, scorching day with a few dips in Little Lehigh Creek in between.
Players stepped into cool water between competitions and it provided just enough refreshment to keep the Vikings strong. They ended the day 11 hours after starting with a 34-29 win over Township Muhlenberg in the title match that concluded the four-day 55-team tournament which featured teams from three different tiers from across the region.
The championship was Central’s first since 2005, when the tournament was called the Stellar Construction “Catch A Rising Star” Showcase.
Whatever the name, it was an impressive performance for the Vikings who are coming off a 21-6 season that featured a disappointing end with Eastern Conference tournament semifinal losses from Pennsylvania and from District 11 4A and a first round loss in the PIAA. playoffs
Sophomore Jahrel Vigo was the MVP and Nico Pulieri was the sixth recipient of the award.
But typical of the depth and scoring balance used by ACCHS to pull off their Super Sunday, Vigo only scored in the Championship, none in the second half of yet another win from behind on a matchday full of them by the Vikings.
David Fridia scored four points in the second half and had a team-best eight in the title game. Anthony Jones and Cole Cook scored three goals apiece for Central in the second half when they had just 15 points and just two field goals.
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Thanks to a solid defensive effort, it was enough to beat a Muhlenberg Township team that is undefeated in the Lehigh Valley Varsity Summer League and was undefeated in the tournament until the last game.
“What a day,” said CCHS assistant coach Kevin Keeler, who was the main voice on the bench throughout the weekend. “In every game, we are fighting for our lives. We trailed by five or ten points at halftime and won games by two or four. We are lucky to be deep because Jahrel was our MVP and he basically couldn’t run because he had cramps. We had another guy who had cramps. It shows our depth and pride in these guys.
Soon to be sophomore nTommy Lloyd, son of former Whitehall star Jerry Lloyd, scored 13 points and was named MVP as the Zephyrs won the JV tournament with a 47-36 victory over Emmaus in the match of championship contested Sunday evening at Cedar Plage.
Whitehall, whose varsity team went 7-15 last year, has shown signs of improvement throughout the offseason and the JV title means a slight uptick. The Zephyrs won five games in total and beat Allentown Central Catholic 59-19 at the start of the day and edged Whitehall 43-40 at the start of the afternoon, then won the rematch more decisively in the game for the title.
“It’s a great group of kids with great families,” JV coach Erik Dogmanits said. “It’s a team. It reminds me of the old days of Whitehall where everyone played rough and they got together and they were scrappy. We preach the tradition of Whitehall and I’m really proud of them for coming out and winning this thing. We are opening gyms open and lifting tomorrow and that should give them a boost. I always say to reach the highest level as fast as possible. Work your cock and that’s what these guys do. They worked extremely hard in this tournament and I’m proud of them.
More story to come.
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