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More summer hoops expected to be canceled

For the first time in 31 years, Catasauqua’s Tournament of Champions (TOC) may be postponed.

The tournament, scheduled to begin Aug. 2 or Aug. 9, could be among the growing number of summer basketball leagues and tournaments that have been canceled to the COVID 19 outbreak.

“We have never had it postponed,” said TOC director Eric Snyder. “We have to wait and see. It probably will not be held and I’m not counting on it.

“We can’t do the summer leagues and TOC until the government and health officials give us the OK. We are at the mercy of COVID-19.”

In April, Catasauqua playground director Jeff Miller issued a statement stating the earlier the summer leagues could start would be July. At the time of the outbreak, the borough closed the community pool, the town parks, and the summer concert series.

In Northampton, head boys’ basketball coach Coy Stampone had planned to have his JV and varsity teams again participate in the Cedar Beach Summer Basketball League in Allentown as well as the A-town Throwdown Tournament, but both events have been canceled.

“We were going to play in the Cedar Beach summer league for JV and varsity teams and two tournaments, the Bash at the Beach and the one that used to be the SportsFest tournament, which I believe it is the A-town Throwdown,” said Stampone. “They’re still holding out hope for the Bash at the Beach tournament, and I’m not sure when he will make that decision.”

Stampone was going to again forgo competing at a team camp this summer for the second consecutive year and concentrate his team’s efforts on fall shootouts at local colleges.

“We decided to attend more fall shootouts like the ones at Kutztown, ESU (East Stroudsburg University) and in Reading. You get three games in a day, and would get the same amount of games spread out over one weekend than one weekend at a team camp.

“That fairs well for us especially since those summer camps would probably be shut down this year because of COVID 19 and hopefully in the fall, the shootouts will still be on.”

In Whitehall, the long-running Stiles League has been a competitive, comparative counterpart to the Catty leagues since 1997, and has had its share of TOC champions over the years.

Yet, play this summer is a longshot.

“It never has been postponed in the past,” said league director Robbie Roberts. “Truthfully, I am ready to cancel just so we have a resolution, but I am waiting for coach Snyder to make a call because I don’t want to upset the teams who want to get into the TOC. I am going with the assumption that it won’t happen though.”