“If it’s a dream, don’t wake me up!” George Greiner chirped after his rags-to-riches Coaldale Tigers virtually clinched the second-half title in the Black Diamond League with a 62-51 victory over Tamaqua Tuesday.
The Tigers officially copped second-half honors on Friday night when Summit Hill lost to Lansford, 56-55. Lansford, Summit Hill and Jim Thorpe have each lost two games in the second half, while Coaldale is unbeaten in five starts. One night’s play remains in the seven team circuit.
Coaldale lost all its early-season exhibition games and its first two league encounters. But then the “dream” began to form, as the Tigers lost only one of their last four first-half games (to Tamaqua) to finish tied for third at 3-3.
The most recent conquest over arch-rival Tamaqua carried special significance to the Coaldale partisans. The reverse officially ended the Blue Raiders’ three-year reign as league monarchs.
Coaldale also gained revenge for a pair of losses to Tamaqua last winter, including a humiliating 116-79 drubbing that stands as the worst in the school’s history.
The Tigers’ triumphant march to the second-half championship also vindicates the faith Coaldale fans maintained in the youthful mentor since he assumed the coaching assignment last September. Greiner’s football forces failed to win a single game last autumn.
The stage is now set for the showdown between Lansford, the first-half titlist, and Coaldale for the seasonal championship. The two neighboring foes gained a split in regular season meetings.
Regardless of the outcome of the league championship playoff, both contenders will enter the District XI tournament, Lansford as the league’s Class A representative and Coaldale in the Class B bracket.