East Penn Press

Saturday, February 24, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBEmmaus senior Kathryn DeJohn goes up for a shot during a recent nonleague game against Muhlenberg. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBEmmaus senior Kathryn DeJohn goes up for a shot during a recent nonleague game against Muhlenberg. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_

Girls bounce back with pair of wins

Friday, January 19, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

In this age of viral videos and highlight shows, a lot of student-athletes that get the most attention are the ones who put big numbers in the box score or make the dazzling plays for their team.

While every team needs those players, it’s easy to forget that there are a lot of other players who help to make those things happen and help to make the wins happen, too.

Emmaus High School has one of those players in Kathryn DeJohn, who quietly comes off the bench, does her job and helps to make things happen.

DeJohn is part of a senior class that has now made the transition into playing how first-year coach Kelsey Gallagher has imagined her team playing especially when it comes to defense. In the new scheme this season, DeJohn has found a big way to help her team and believes that the new system is now becoming more routine for the players.

“At the beginning, it was difficult,” said DeJohn. “It was new and we were having trouble finding our spots, but we’ve worked on it and we’re doing much better and stepping up if someone needs help and it’s coming together.”

Emmaus (2-5 EPC, 5-7 overall) suffered an embarrassing 53-15 loss to a very good Freedom (6-2, 10-2) team a little over a week ago, but in two games since then, the Hornets didn’t even allow a combined 53 points, beating East Stroudsburg South 46-22 and earning a 43-16 nonleague win over Muhlenberg (0-4 Berks, 5-8) as the Hornets have won back-to-back games.

Offensively, Emmaus has found that its able to move the ball around the court and find shots that are more to its liking rather than just settling for what the other team is going to give and coming up short.

The combination of finding their footing defensively and finding patience offensively has the Hornets looking like a much tougher team in the second half of the season than they were through the first half.

“It’s a different defense than what they’re used to and just like everything else, it takes time, so you have to keep your patience and you can’t get frustrated,” said Gallagher. “We can only control so much and we just have to be sure that we’re getting better every day.

“There are a lot of teams in the Valley that play the 1-3-1, so you have to be able to swing the ball and really make the defense move so you can get the shot that you want. We’ve work on that as much as we can.”

DeJohn is one reason why Gallagher and the rest of the team is looking forward to seeing just how much it can accomplish in the second half. With bigger scorers like Bri Hart on the team, DeJohn looks to get her points where she can and make a mark defensively, and it’s working well for her.

“She’s been great and is a great role player,” said Gallagher. “She does what we ask. She hustles. She works extremely hard and her progress in getting better since day one has been impressive. She does the little things like hustling and being where she needs to be defensively. You can’t ever take away a player who works hard for you.”

DeJohn, who is looking to continue her education and playing career at a school somewhere in Pennsylvania, plans on being in a five-year physician’s assistant program somewhere while she keeps herself on the court. She’s waiting to hear from a couple more schools before making her choice.

She says that when she looks back on her time at Emmaus, she’s going to remember the bonding that she and her fellow seniors have gone through and all of the players that she’s played with. She’s also going to remember the surprise wins – including knocking off Central Catholic last season – which ironically is exactly what Emmaus is going to need down the stretch if DeJohn and the other seniors are to reach the goal of having their senior season end with a trip to districts.

“We’re hoping to still get enough wins to make districts,” said DeJohn. “We’re going to have to steal some wins that people might not expect, so we’re hoping that we can pull out some surprise wins and shock some people. We’re hoping to pull out enough wins to get into districts.”