Boys reach SportsFest quarterfinal
If it wasn't for the wrong bounce of the basketball, the Emmaus boys basketball team could have been playing in the final four of its second straight Allentown summer tournament.
Two weekends ago, the Green Hornets lost in the semifinals at the Stellar Catch A Rising Star Tournament. And it took an extra period, but Reading High School took down Emmaus in the quarterfinals of the Sportsfest A-town Throwdown Tournament last weekend at Cedar Beach.
"If you would've said to me before these tournaments that we would go final four and elite eight, I would've taken that," said Hornet head coach Steve Yoder. "I'm very pleased we got a lot of basketball in. A lot of kids got an opportunity to work on their game. I'm really proud of the kids and glad we're sending them home tired."
Before an overtime loss to Reading, the Green Hornets defeated Nazareth 45-37 in the first game of the playoff elimination round.
With a different format than Stellar, there is a four-team pool play round and then a single elimination tournament after the 12-pool first round is completed. Sixteen of the 48 teams entered in the tournament move on to the single-elimination rounds.
Emmaus won all three of its pool play games, beating Pen Argyl 49-25, Upper Perk 66-26, and Friere (NJ) 57-40.
"I love it," said Yoder on the pool play format. "I like that we run into teams that we usually don't play. Pool play is great because you don't have that grind of playing four or five games in a day. We played well, and I'm proud of the kids."
Emmaus had a lead for much of their final game, but Reading stormed back and forced overtime. A couple of missed free throws doomed the Green Hornets in the end.
"We had opportunities to put the game away, but just didn't hit some shots," added Yoder. "But we played hard and that's all I can ask for."
Sophomore David Kachelries took home All-Tournament Team honors, just as he did a week earlier at Stellar.
The Emmaus girls basketball team did not have as much success at Sportsfest.
In their opening game on Thursday night, the Green Hornets fell to a Palisades team that made a long run at Stellar. Following that, Emmaus was downed by Allen on Saturday for an early exit.