EHS boys won two games while playing without two starters
Every summer, the main goal for the Emmaus boys basketball team is to reach Sunday at the Stellar Catch A Rising Star Tournament.
The Green Hornets are always looking to play well, win games, and improve as a team to gain experience for the winter season, but moving on to Sunday is the benchmark each team looks for.
Down two players in injured starters Joey Polczynski and David Kachelries, Emmaus won two games and advanced to Sunday's final day.
"The goal for us is always to be playing on Sunday," said varsity assistant and summer league head coach Eric Farkas. "We're happy with achieving that goal, but we wanted to go a little bit further. It was obviously tough being down a few players."
Farkas was pleased with the way his team played and stepped up without some of its leaders.
"Kevin Wambold worked really hard and started every game for us," said Farkas. "We were really happy with the way he performed. Josh Artis [a sophomore] has only played organized basketball for three years, but he played a big role for us down low. He finishes at the rim and is only going to get better."
Another player that stepped up was senior Cameron Widdoss. With last year's point guard, Tyler Prescott graduating, Emmaus needs someone to step up as a leader and take control of calling out plays, and Widdoss did just that. Farkas noted that the coaching staff gave him the controls before the tournament, and was happy with his play.
The tournament did not start out too well for the Hornets. In their first game on Saturday, they lost a close one to Bangor 46-42. But they rallied for a 60-32 victory against Bishop McDevitt a couple of hours later to stay alive and play again on Sunday. Artis led the team with 14 points.
"The seniors didn't want to go home early and lose two in a row," Farkas said. "They stepped up in a big way. Brandon Rapose told me before that [McDevitt] game that we weren't going to go home yet. There wasn't one guy that stood out individually, it was a team effort and everyone stepped up."
Early Sunday morning, Emmaus took down East Penn Conference foe Whitehall 47-39 with Jacob Feiertag scoring a team-high 14 points. But the tournament ended just two hours later with another close loss, this time to Glen Mills 44-38.
Matt Kachelries took home second-team All-tournament honors, a year after not being able to play in Stellar due to injury.
"It's great for Matt because he had a tough break last year being hurt, but he really stepped up this year and played well," Farkas said.
Emmaus will host a youth clinic week, then will compete at SportsFest, which begins on Thursday night. Polczynski and Kachelries are expected to be cleared to play in SportsFest.