"Hard to Swallow"
Pottsville earned respect in the league, but couldn't repeat
Senior Kevin McFarland said, "In the beginning of the season we had all intentions of defending
our Schuylkill League crown. We felt we had a solid nucleus and if we stayed healthy, we could be a competitive contender
in the league."
By the end of February, the Tide
was not atop Division I in the Schuylkill League, and they did not win back to back championships. What they did do, however,
was play tough. Possibly with a little bit of good fortune or maybe without some bad luck, the Tide boys' team could be bragging
about a repeat.
There's no question about it, the first
thing that comes to mind about the '93-94' season is the game against that old bitter rival, Blue Mountain. It was the Tide's
fourteenth game of the year and they just pulled out a hard fought win in overtime at the Eagles' nest. In the home encounter
the Tide was ahead by two points with less than three seconds remaining. Pottsville looked to be in the driver's seat at this
point, expected to win the Division outright, Then it happened. Swish! Pandemonium. The Eagles' did it, a half court prayer
was answered. They had beaten the returning champs. "It was unbelievable, I can remember standing there after the buzzer
thinking, no way, no way," said senior Alex Diamond.
But in looking back, that loss should not be the only thing remembered. Pottsville put together two four game winning streaks.
With the experienced leadership of senior starters Joe Opalenick, McFarland, Darnell Alexander, and Diamond, the Tide put
together a formidable league record of 9-3. Juniors Kevin Corby, Jeff Yoder and senior Jon Wowak also played considerable
roles in producing those victories.
Going by the numbers,
McFarland had an extremely productive offensive campaign. The power forward led the team in total points and points per game
averaging 16. He also led the team in rebounding.
Tide did qualify for post season play, both in the league and District XI competition. Unfortunately they fell to Mahanoy
Area in the league wild card game. Pottsville won their first district game against Nazareth, but lost to East Stroudsburg,
in the district quarterfinal.
"Overall, I think
our season was respectable. I think as the year rolled on we got better. I also know we never let up and always played hard,"
concluded head coach Mr. Jim Steidle.