EHS comes back to beat K-Kids
After a sluggish and late start to the 2017-18 regular season, the Emmaus boys basketball team got into the win column with its first victory, rallying in the fourth quarter to take down host Northampton 53-47 last Friday night an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference game at Northampton High School.
With their first game of the year getting postponed due to snow, and then the EPC opener getting pushed back a day because of weather, the Green Hornets (2-1 overall, 1-1 EPC) had to wait longer than every other team in District 11 to open the season and that may have effected their play, dropping the first contest of the season last Wednesday at Pocono Mountain West.
Two days later, it took three quarters for Emmaus to fully get into the groove and find a rhythm.
Facing a seven-point deficit, their biggest of the game, early in the fourth quarter, the Green Hornets relied on inside scoring and an improved eight-minute frame at the free-throw line to climb back and come out on top.
Junior Zach Sabol finished with a game-high 20 points to go along with 15 rebounds. His play in the second half, and in the fourth quarter in particular, fueled the Hornet offense.
Sabol scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half, eight of which came in the final quarter.
“I knew with the way we were playing, after the loss Wednesday and in the first half tonight, we needed to step up,” said Sabol. “It wasn’t just me. It was great because we had big-time contributions from Josh [Artis] and Bryce [Diehl], and our guards Devon [Boyko] and Chris [Smith] really stepped up and played well. They were a big part of why we won.”
Smith, a senior, scored just four points, but when he was inserted into the game in the second quarter, the Emmaus offense began to break a K-Kids zone defense that had stifled the Hornets during the first eight minutes of the game. Smith had five rebounds and four assists, and did a good job of finding Sabol, Artis (10 points) and Diehl (nine points).
Boyko (four points) also entered the game in the second quarter and was asked to guard Northampton’s leading scorer,and one of the EPC’s returning leading scorer from last year, Aidan Ellwood.
Ellwood scored with 15 points, but 10 came in the first quarter before Boyko was following him around the court.
Emmaus led for much of the first half, but trailed 22-20 at halftime in a somewhat sluggish half for both teams.
The Kids used three 3-pointers in the third quarter to take as much as a seven-point advantage. But where the Hornets struggled in the third quarter, going 1-of-4 from the free-throw line, they excelled in late in the game, shooting 9-for-15 to climb all the way back for the victory.
“This was an important win for us,” Sabol said. “You never want to lose, but you also never want to be on a losing streak either. Winning tonight hopefully gets us the feeling we want to have and continues the winning ways.”
The Hornets were back on the court Saturday for a 65-59 nonleague win over Scranton Prep. Diehl scored a game-high 24 points in the win, while Artis added 20 points and Sabol had 15.