East Penn Press

Thursday, January 17, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBEmmaus’ Bri Hart likes the up-tempo style the Hornets will play under first-year head coach Kelsey Gallagher. Copyright - DON HERB PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBEmmaus’ Bri Hart likes the up-tempo style the Hornets will play under first-year head coach Kelsey Gallagher. Copyright - DON HERB

EHS girls look to play faster style

Friday, December 8, 2017 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

In the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Goldilocks had to search around for porridge, a chair and a bed until she found the one that was just right. For senior basketball player, Bri Hart, her search through three different coaches in her four seasons appears to be ending with the one that’s just right.

A lot has changed since Kelsey Gallagher was named the new head coach of the Lady Hornets this past July. The team had a good showing in both the summer league and its own EHS Fall Classic, and the system and style of play have both been completely overhauled.

“I feel like we’re settling in with this coach,” said Hart with a big smile. “We’ve gone through a lot and it’s really nice to have this coach, because I feel like we fit in with her. It’s very different. She has a whole new approach on what we’re doing in every aspect on the basketball court. She’s very fast-paced. She likes the transitional side of things. She changed our defense completely, so it’s a whole new set.

“I love the fast-paced game, that’s definitely me. I love to run the court. Even if I don’t have the ball, I love to run down the court with you and you’ll get a nice layup and I can be there if we need a rebound.”

Gallagher served as an assistant at Stroudsburg for the last three seasons before getting her first job as a head coach with Emmaus. She served as a guest head coach during the early part of summer until she was officially approved by the school board as the head coach and she’s been able to make the changes that she felt needed to be made.

With Gallagher being the team’s third coach in the last four years, the players have been used to change, and are comfortable with the things that their new coach is looking to change.

“It’s definitely exciting and I’m glad they feel that way, because I feel the same way,” said Gallagher. “I’m as dedicated as they are and there’s nothing more that I want for my seniors and the rest of the girls than to have a good year.

“It’s an adjustment, but it’s a good adjustment because I’ve been the assistant the last few years and now I’m doing things the way that I want. It’s nice to be able to speak what I want to do and put it in and see that it’s actually working.”

Emmaus finished 7-9 in the EPC last season and were 9-13 overall. Seniors Hart, Kathryn DeJohn, Leah Tannous and CC Wippel have all gotten experience and return as team leaders. The attitude around the team is good and even other teams are looking to see just how good Emmaus can be this season.

“I think they’re going to be interesting,” said Parkland coach Wes Spence. “They’ve got Hart and Wippel and there are other good players on that team. If they get some consistency, they can be very tough.”

That was music to Hart’s ears, as she and the team well remember a game in mid-January of last season when the Hornets dropped a four-point heart-breaker to a very tough Parkland team that reached the district semifinals last season.

“That feels great,” said Hart when told of Spence’s respect for the team. “We were close to beating them last year, so maybe he got a little whiff of what we can be like. I definitely feel like we can be a better team this year and challenge some of the better teams.”

Gallagher, as most first-year coaches do, is being very guarded about her expectations for the team. With a lot of changes and a different emphasis from what the team has done in the past, there are a lot of question marks even though the early returns are very encouraging.

“It all depends on what we do each and every day,” said Gallagher. “If Bri and CC and the seniors play well and guide the younger girls up, then I think we can do well. I think the future’s bright, but we’ve got to come every day and do our work.”