In the 3/4 Rec Boys division, the undefeated Saucon Valley Nittany Lions faced off against the Saucon Valley Buckeyes to decide the division championship. The Lions came into the game undefeated, and having dealt the Buckeyes their only loss earlier in the season. However, it was the Buckeyes who came out on top, led by Caleb Grim, who scored 8 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. Matthew Keenan followed with 5 points, 4 rebounds and a steal. However, it was a true team effort as Matthew Gulati led the team from the point guard position, with Eli Torres disrupting the Lions’ offense, Harry Vicic grabbing key rebounds, Carter Bidwell keeping the Lions off balance and the Lucas brothers, Ethan and Ian, making some important stops on defense. However, the play of the day came from Brandon Shaffer, who made a volleyball-like tip of a long pass coming to him through traffic over to Grim who converted the two points.
Although they were playing from behind most of the game, the Lions did make a late game push, as Geno Deren led the charge with 5 points. Tanner Riefenstahl also kicked it up and scored 4 points of his own. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the Buckeyes went on to win 19-13.
Congratulations to the Nittany Lions on a fantastic season led by Jason Ashraf and Jason Banonis, Zayden Ashraf, Zachary Banonis, Geno Deren, Pierson Kainz, Chase Luckenbach, Tanner Riefenstahl, Gunnar Rudolph, Danyal Aasim Saber and Phillip Taylor.
In the 5/6 Rec Boys division, the 6-2 Saucon Valley Trojans faced off against the undefeated Canes 5 team. Behind a 3-pointer and another long basket by Kush Javia, the Trojans got off to a great start and pulled away to a 10-6 lead in the first half. However, the Canes came storming back to grab an 11-10 lead just before the end of the first half. In the second half, the Canes came out fast and quickly pulled away from the Trojans and on to the 5/6 Boys Championship, 27-16.
The 2016-2017 5/6 Rec Boys Runners Up Trojans: pictured from left to right, front: Owen Frederick, Kush Javia, Ray Matey, Benjamin Keenan, Justin Lesser, Hunter Crookham, Brandon Thompson and Sam Weaver. Back: Maryanne Matey and Tom Keenan.
Congratulations to the Trojans, who earned second place in the division.
The Saucon Valley Titans won their final game to earn 3rd place. The Titans were led by Jason Banonis and Jodi Albanese. Congratulations also to Domenico Albanese, Andrew Banonis, Colin Griffith, Jeffrey Holzbaur, Hunter Niemeier, Javier Rodriguez Jr., Ryan Stubblefield and Joshua Torres.
In the 5/6 Girls Travel Championship game, the previously undefeated Saucon Valley Bobcats, led by Teather Royse, Reggie Robertson and Kindra Reed, fell to the Bethlehem Canes in a nailbiter by two points. The second place Bobcats were made up of Sophie Babashak, Allison Cort, Erin Duffy, Teegan Lannon, Aubrey Peterson, Makenna Reed, Hannah Robertson, Kasey Royse and Lindsay Williams. Congratulations on a great season, ladies.
The Saucon Valley Tigers finished third in the 5/6 Girls Travel league. Lexi Budline, Emily Chi, Kayla Cortez, Cailee Farkas, Sara Good, Amanda Humphries, Elizabeth Miller and Spree Perez were led by Mike Miller and Chris Farkas.
In the Girls 3/4 Rec Division, the Saucon Valley Leopards made it to the Championship game but came up short, finishing in 2nd place with a 6-2 record. Kayla Brown, Mallory Brown, Zoe Conover, Laura Johnson, Isabella Johnstone, Emily Shoenenberger, Julia Youngkins and Victoria Youngkins were led by Kristy Brown and Marty Youngkins.
Super Saturday (Feb. 25) ended on a very positive note for all teams, as they came together for Saucon Valley Night at Lehigh’s Stabler Arena to see the Mountain Hawk mens basketball team defeat Army West Point in their season finale. Two of the Saucon Valley teams, the Trojans and Titans, even got to play a short exhibition game on the court at halftime to wrap up one of the more memorable Super Saturdays.
Congratulations to all the Saucon Valley teams on another exciting season!
Thank you to the Saucon Source for allowing use to republish this article. Article and photos by Tom Keenan.