Last weekend represented the start to the second half of both the Lycoming men and women basketball team's season.
And for the men's side of the program things went just about as well as they could have through the first half. For the women, the flashes of improvement once again fell by the wayside as two late collapses ended their weekend with an equal amount of losses. The women then dropped two more games at King's and Widener, respectively.
After winning two consecutive games to claim the Louis Fleming Basinger Memorial Tournament title, the men opened the second half of their schedule with an 86-78 loss at Widener. Despite the loss, the men still have plenty to play for as they prepare for the trudge through the Commonwealth Conference portion of their schedule.
He's a look at some of my observations from the holiday tournaments and my look ahead at the rest of the season.
ANTONELLI CONTINUES TO ROLL
As a group of talented freshmen continue to emerge for Lycoming, Julia Antonelli continues to provide quality minutes for the team.
In two games at the Hoops for Hounds Tournament, Antonelli scored 47 points and pulled down 25 rebounds. Her efforts landed her on the All-tournament team as well as being named the Warrior of the Week.
Over her last four games, Antonelli has averaged 16.75 points a game. She also earned her 600th career point over the stretch.
DISTRICT 4 REPRESENT!
The Hoops for Hounds tournament also featured some familiar District 4 faces. Former Loyalsock standout Jonaida Williams was named to the All-Tournament team. In 28 minutes of work, Williams posted 18 points as Susquehanna fell just short of the championship with a, 69-58, loss to MCLA.
Williams completed a double-double in the game adding 11 rebounds to go with her 18 points.
In the tournament's consolation game between Lycoming and Eastern, former Sullivan County player, Reilly Gavitt, finished with five points. Eastern defeated Lycoming, 74-64.
A TRUE INSPIRATION
Last weekend's tournaments belonged to the players, but no team inspired more than Gallaudet.
The all-deaf school, led by standout point guard Layton Seeber, nearly pulled off the upset on day one against John Jay, eventually falling, 74-65.
In their second contest though, the Bision took advantage of a 29-point performance from Seeber to record a, 68-56, win over Cairn.
"We use our hands for plays and they use their voice," Seeber said. "The advantage we have is the other team doesn't know what we are calling. They watch videos on us and know our normal plays, but that's it."
Seeber, who scored 49 points in two games over the two-day tournament, was named to the All-tournament team for his efforts.
"We work on the offense all year and the players are really starting to understand it," Gallaudet coach Brendan Stern said.
In my six years of working as a sports reporter I take a lot pride in thinking I've seen just about everything in sports. I've seen buzzer-beating shots, last second goals and walk-off home runs.
What I've never seen was a team win a basketball game by 76 points. And I never expected the first time I would see a victory by that insane margin would be in a college game.
Lycoming chanced all that in its first game of the Louis Fleming Basinger Memorial Tournament last weekend.
The Warriors defeated Cairn, 103-27, to open the tournament. The first half closed out with Lycoming up 57-13. And even with all the starters pulled and a group of freshman on the court, Lycoming still pulled away for the 76-point win.
Overall it was a good weekend to be a part of Lycoming's offense, which posted 203 points in two games.
WILLIAMS WAS WONDERFUL
Jerald Willams always seems to amaze me.
He is arguably Lycoming's most valuable player. And last weekend's tournament only added to that belief.
In the championship game of the Louis Fleming Basinger Tournament, Williams, who entered the tournament having already been named the MVP in two previous years, posted 19 points to go with 14 assists and four steals. He was named the tournament's MVP, yet all he talked about after the game was how important his teammates were.
Williams might end up holding most records at Lycoming for a point guard, but that truly seems to matter little to him. He is the ultimate team player and it's going to sad to see him leave at the end of the season.
DAVIS NETS 1,000
Ihsaan Davis, who posted 28 points in two Louis Fleming Basinger Memorial Tournament games, became the 29th player in Lycoming men's basketball history to score 1,000 points.
Despite Lycoming falling to Widener, 86-78, Saturday, Davis was able to secure the milestone midway through the first half. Davis went on to finish with 14 points.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH
The Lycoming men opened last year with a loss at George Mason, but won the next 12 games. The problem with the hot start was the cold finish.
In their next 13 games, Lycoming only won six and suffered their first two-game losing streak of the season. And those losses came against league foes, which meant a road trip to open the conference postseason.
Lycoming has already stumbled out the gates with the loss to Widener, but don't think the players are unaware of the importance of winning within the league.
The Warriors got lucky after Albright was upset by Elizabethtown, which restored their one-game advantage in the standings.
I'm sure this is going to be a tough week of practice for Lycoming as it prepares to welcome Lebanon Valley into Lamade Gymnasium Wednesday.