Her four sons sat where their mother always did, cheering on Mansfield High School the way their mother did even after all four graduated.
And there in that quartet snapshot last Wednesday was Margaret Berguson's enduring legacy.
Berguson passed away last Monday, creating a huge void in both the Mansfield and Wellsboro communities. Berguson touched countless lives while raising her for sons in Mansfield and teaching Spanish at Wellsboro. Ironically, Mansfield and Wellsboro are fierce rivals. That was the power of Margaret "Peggy" Berguson, though - she could bring enemies together and make them one.
Everyone liked the woman affectionately called "Mrs. B."
Prior to Wednesday's Mansfield home game against Sayre, the Tigers honored Margaret with a moment of silence. Every team member than went over to her four sons and shook their hands. Those four, in order from oldest to youngest: Jeff, Mark, Tim and Luke, took their mom's place because she always attended every home game.
Luke graduated two years ago, but still Margaret remained loyal to Mansfield. Still Margaret remained a Mansfield staple, beloved by all.
Dr. Masse's Top 5
1. Williamsport (17-2)
A year ago, a dramatic late-season win over State College helped propel Williamsport to a district championship and the second round of states. Time will tell whether last week's 68-64 win at State College will have a similar impact but it was certainly a big win at a tough venue. Williamsport beat a perennial state title contender in a game that featured 19 lead changes and again excelled in the fourth quarter. The Millionaires have shined in the fourth quarter throughout the season and blitzed Altoona in that quarter-and the whole game-two nights later in a 69-42 road win. Williamsport holds the top spot in the District 2-4 Class AAAA standings, edging out Scranton (16-3). All six teams in the field have at least 13 wins so it should be a challenging tournament.
2. Loyalsock (18-3)
The Lancers have proven as tough as they are talented throughout the season and especially Saturday against Lewisburg. Loyalsock lost a nine-point halftime lead and went down by three in the fourth quarter, but never buckled. Even when Lewisburg hit 11 of 14 shots to start the second half, the Lancers stayed calm, responded and won a second straight league title.
"Lewisburg is a great team and they kept coming back but every good team comes back and fights," Loyalsock guard Mike Pastore said. "Every one on our team gave a good effort and we got the job done."
3. Lewisburg (19-2)
Senior guard Jesse Flannery played a terrific game against Loyalsock. Flannery grabbed seven rebounds, dealt six assists and was key to Lewisburg's comeback despite constant full-court pressure defense.
"Jesse was getting hounded like crazy and he was very solid with the ball," Vaji said. "He hit some shots and took it to the hole. I don't know many other guards in area who could handle the ball with that kind of pressure and that kind of hounding on them."
4. St. John Neumann (18-1)
Call me crazy, but I don't think Neumann losing is a bad thing. The Knights no longer have the pressure of trying to stay undefeated hovering and can now just focus on trying to capture a district title. Neumann captured its first HAC-III championship Saturday, bouncing back to beat South Williamsport, 79-53. Alize Johnson scored 25 points in the win. The Knights will play Thursday in the inaugural Heartland Tournament at Mifflinburg, likely against either Danville or Loyalsock. And how great would a Loyalsock vs. Neumann matchup be?
5. Wellsboro (18-1)
The Green Hornets continue their match toward 21-1 with three games this week, starting tonight against Williamson. Wellsboro has won 11 straight since losing to Lewisburg and has won three straight NTL-West championships. The Hornets have lost only two league games during that time and no league team other than Mansfield has beaten them in league play since 2008.
Player of the Week
Roger Wilson, Loyalsock
Wilson is making himself an all-state candidate and had a huge week, doing it all in three straight wins. Wilson averaged 17 points, 10 rebounds and 8 blocks. He had 24 points against Montoursville and recorded his 13th double-double against Lewisburg.
Game of the Week
Danville at Williamsport
Friday's game features a showdown of defending district champions. Danville (16-2) won the District 4 Class AAA crown while Williamsport captured the District 2-4 Class AAAA title. Both are favorite to repeat too so Friday's game should be a fun one.
The best way her sons could honor their mother was by being there the way she always was there for them. Look at those four young men and one sees a reflection of Margaret.
All four shined athletically but even more away from the court or field. Jeff served in the Navy for four years and is now studying at Penn State. Mark is in his second year at prestigious Thomas Jefferson in Philadelphia. Tim recently graduated with a degree in physics from Juniata and Luke is playing basketball while excelling academically at Lebanon Valley College. Mark, Tim and Luke all have their names on district championship banners and all four helped usher in an excellent era of Mansfield basketball.
Behind that success was Margaret. Many labeled Margaret as a teacher and mother but she was so much more. She was a role model, a friend, a mentor and an inspiration to her sons and so many she taught. Those lessons she taught will be passed on to other generations by her sons and her students.
Margaret Berguson lives on. Her legacy will forever be enduring.
Loyalsock center Roger Wilson is having a dominant season, averaging a double-double while becoming one of the district's best shot blockers. What really has helped the senior take his game to another level, however, has more to do with his evolution as a person.
Wilson has become a mature team leader and teammates are looking up to a player who has come a long way in the past year. Wilson started becoming a force late last season, but his own emotions sometimes got in the way. Loyalsock coach Ron Insinger said Wilson could be his own worst enemy, losing his composure when things went wrong.
Those days are long gone. Wilson shakes missed shots or turnovers like bee stings now. Instead of growing frustrated, Wilson comes back harder. The results have been obvious.
"The thing with Roger is he has learned how to maintain his composure and that has enhanced the other aspects of his game," Insinger said after Wilson's 24-point, 11-rebound, five-block performance against Montoursville. "He has his moments where he struggles but the difference between this year and last year is last year he couldn't bounce back from any adversity. If he misses his first three shots now he knows the next three are going in. That positive attitude has made a difference in the quality of play he exhibits on the court."
Wilson showed how far he has come in Saturday's 61-55 win over Lewisburg. The senior picked up two fouls in the game's first four minutes, but never lost his cool. Instead, he played smart and under control, scoring 16 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and blocking seven shots as the Lancers won a thriller.
Wilson opened his season with 10 consecutive games in which he grabbed at least 10 rebounds. He has recorded 13 double-doubles and played some of his best games against Loyalsock's toughest opponents. In three games against State College, Communications Tech and Lewisburg, Wilson has 59 points and 41 rebounds. Last Monday he put on a show against Hughesville, blocking 12 shots in 22 minutes of a 70-47 win.
Wilson's game has evolved the past few seasons and so has he. The convergence of the two at their peak has helped Loyalsock build on its winning tradition.
"Roger has become a natural leader too. The kids really look up to him," Insinger said. "He's a student of the game now. He wasn't before. He relied on his natural ability. Now he wants to learn and wants to get better."
DISTRICT 4 LUNACY
I know I sound like a broken record and I do not care. The District 4 seeding process is garbage. As predicted last week, Lewisburg and Loyalsock will end up in the same bracket as the No. 2 and 3 seeds, respectively. And here's the ridiculous part: Loyalsock (18-3) captured the HAC-II championship Saturday, completing a season sweep of Lewisburg (19-2) and yet will be seeded below it. Even crazier is that Wellsboro (18-1) likely will be the top seed even though it lost to Lewisburg on a neutral court, has not played the schedule those two have and has not won a playoff game since 2006.
Do not get me wrong, Wellsboro is an outstanding team with district title potential, but there is no way it should be seeded higher than Loyalsock or Lewisburg. Even if District 4 just adopted a bonus points system that football uses this could be remedied since Loyalsock's and Lewisburg's wins over several bigger school teams would put them at the top.
Loyalsock's three losses are to Class AAAA state title contenders Williamsport and State College and Class AA state-ranked Communications Tech. Having a system in which teams get punished for playing strong teams is totally illogical and flat-out stupid. District 4 has enough trouble advancing teams in states, the last thing it needs is its strongest teams bumping each other off before the championship.
Sadly, nothing will change. Nearly every year, something ridiculous like this happens and year after year, District 4 refuses to change its illogical, tired and archaic seeding system. A guy can dream, though.
Sullivan County recorded a gutty 51-49 win at Bloomsburg on Saturday, three nights after Bloomsburg handed St. John Neumann its first loss. The Griffins (19-2) will be seeded no lower than No. 2 in the District 4 Class A tournament as they seek a second straight title ... Hughesville clinched an AA playoff spot in dramatic fashion, beating Warrior Run 48-46 in overtime. The Spartans (11-10), four-time district champions between 2006-11, overcame an eight-point, fourth-quarter deficit, rallying in the fourth for a fourth time this year. Tristan Jeffreys had a double-double and is one of the area's most versatile players ... Muncy (15-5) has won six straight games and is having its best regular season since 2004 when it won its last district title ... Ammar Sabanovic had 11 assists in Saturday's 58-49 win over Millville.
Masse may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @docmasse.