East Penn Press

Monday, December 11, 2017

Fall Classic event benefits American Cancer Society

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

The recent Fall Classic at Emmaus High School was a success in raising money for the American Cancer Society. This year’s edition featured 11 girls varsity basketball teams and four girls JV teams who battled each other over two days.

For the weekend, the event, which is organized and run by the Three-Point Club at Emmaus, raised $500 for the American Cancer Society.

Both the Emmaus varsity and JV teams were successful on the court as well, with both teams finishing with a 4-1 record.

The Hornet varsity team picked up a 19-9 win over Boyertown, beat Pottsgrove 35-29, downed Perkiomen Valley 33-28 and then finished out the Classic with a 34-29 win over Northern Lehigh.

The team’s only loss came to Bethlehem Catholic, 39-30.

The JV team gained wins over Upper Perkiomen, East Stroudsburg North, Honesdale and Bethlehem Catholic, with its only loss coming to Stroudsburg, the alma mater of new Emmaus head coach Kelsey Gallagher.

Gallagher had been at the tournament in the past as an assistant with Stroudsburg, but was participating for the first time as a head coach. Add to that the responsibility of being the host team and the weekend was much different than it was for her as a visiting assistant coach.

“It’s a lot busier,” she said. “It’s much longer days, but there’s nothing better than watching basketball all day.”

It didn’t hurt that her teams showed up ready to play.

“We’re doing well, so that’s good,” Gallagher said. “We’ve played well defensively and that helped in the wins.”

In addition to benefiting a great cause, the Fall Classic also provided the new coach an informal introduction to the school community and to her players.

She participated with the team in some informal games over the summer and had met all of the players, but with the start of official practices starting just days after the Classic, the five games were a chance to gauge where her team is and to continue to nurture relationships with the players.

“It’s going fantastic,” said Gallager. “I think everything is going the way that we want it and we’ve had 28 or 30 girls showing up in gyms and we have girls that want to be there and want to get better.

“We have girls that are willing to put the time in and change positions to make things work the way we want it to, so everyone is on board, which makes things smoother. It’s a whole new program, so for both the girls and myself, there’s a lot to learn and a lot to put in.

“I think we have a very good relationship. I think that they understand what I expect out of them. They come, they work hard and I really couldn’t ask for any more out of them. I’m very grateful.”