East Penn Press

Saturday, March 17, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBSenior Leah Tannous and the Emmaus girls basketball team are improving under their first-year head coach. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBSenior Leah Tannous and the Emmaus girls basketball team are improving under their first-year head coach. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_

Hornets beat Reading in overtime

Thursday, January 11, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

Leah Tannous is having fun playing out her senior season on the court at Emmaus.

This season’s team is especially close and its found a new sort of bond under coach Kelsey Gallagher, who is in her first season with the team. Even though Tannous is happy, there are a few things she wouldn’t mind changing.

“Obviously, I wish we had more wins, but I think that will come,” said Tannous. “We’re a very close team and get along great together.

“As great as it is being a senior, I wouldn’t mind if I were a sophomore and had a couple more seasons with this group and with coach Gallagher.”

After somewhat of a carousel of coaches over the past few seasons, Gallagher has seemed to calm the waters so to speak and the players have taken notice. Emmaus had often struggled to do some of the basic things on the court, but while the wins aren’t there yet, the Hornets have become a stronger fundamental team.

In a 52-45 win over Reading Saturday, Tannous scored six of her nine points in the overtime period and the team went 8-for-8 from the line in OT to lock down the win.

“We honestly shouldn’t have had to go to overtime,” said Tannous, who admitted that her play wasn’t as strong as she would have liked through the first three quarters. “We did a lot of the little things right in overtime and that’s all because of the coach. She’s worked us really hard on fundamentals and stresses doing things the right way to be successful.”

Last month, Tannous scored 16 points against Northampton and then came back the next night with 13 points to help lead Emmaus to a 55-49 win over Pocono Mountain West for Emmaus’ first win of the season and the first of Gallagher’s career.

After the win over Pocono Mountain West, Gallagher talked about what she has seen from Tannous.

“She works hard and what I like about her is that if I get on her about something, and there have been times when I’ve felt that I needed to do that, she doesn’t hang her head, she goes out and fixes the mistakes,” said Gallagher.

Tannous plans on majoring in secondary education in college and is waiting for a couple more schools to respond to her applications before deciding on which college she’ll attend next fall.

She’s followed two brothers Nate, who graduated in 2012 and Derek, a 2013 graduate of Emmaus on to the court.

“We’ve always been a basketball family. My brothers played for Emmaus and my Dad and his brothers played at Allen, so we’ve always been around basketball,” admitted Tannous.

Emmaus (3-7 overall; 1-4 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference) hopes to be one of those teams that will be much better in the second half of the season than they were in the first. It figures that would be the case, since Gallagher has put in a whole new system and a complex defensive scheme that the team is starting to make it own as the players pick up on the nuances of what Gallagher is feeding them.

“We really can play much better than we’ve shown, so I think that the wins are going to come for us,” said Tannous. “We’ve had a lot to learn and it hasn’t been easy, but we’re playing better and I really think that we can turn things around.”

Emmaus hosts East Stroudsburg South (1-5, 3-6) Friday before hosting Muhlenberg (4-5 overall; 0-2 Berks League) on Saturday. A big test will come in Emmaus’ third game of a three-game homestand when it faces Parkland on Tuesday. The two teams met earlier in the season with the Lady Trojans taking a 63-28 win on their home court.