Lady Hornets go 1-2 at tourney
The Emmaus girls’ basketball team was without three of its key players at this past weekend’s SportsFest “A-Town Showdown Divaz” basketball tournament. But head coach Kelsey Gallagher still saw plenty of positives during the Lady Hornets’ run on Saturday.
Emmaus finished 1-2 on Saturday with a win over Dieruff to open the tournament at Percy Ruhe Park in Allentown. The Lady Hornets then came up short against Cedar Crest and Bethlehem Catholic, the eventual tournament runner-up, on Saturday night.
“I was definitely very pleased even with finishing 1-2,” Gallagher said. “I think a lot of people didn’t realize how young we were this weekend. We had a couple of people away for AAU and vacations, so we invited five freshmen to join us. They got some valuable minutes obviously being as hot as it was we couldn’t really keep girls in that long…These young kids held their own.”
One Lady Hornet was already out due to injury, leaving Emmaus at a disadvantage from the get-go. They were also without Brooke Wunderler, an incoming junior, and Gabrielle Martin due to vacations.
Still, Gallagher saw her team compete in every game this weekend. Against Bethlehem Catholic, last year’s East Penn Conference champion, Emmaus erased a double-digit deficit and trailed by just three points in the final seconds. It was just a little too big of a deficit to overcome against an experienced Golden Hawks’ squad.
“We definitely battled,” Gallagher said. “I think we were down by as many as 12, and then with four minutes left we started to kind of battle back. We fought our way back in that one, but unfortunately we got a loss.
“I think we were missing three valuable girls. But the freshmen kind of stepped up and they did everything they could to fill that role.”
Kam Watkins was one of those freshmen that stepped in and played a key role immediately. Her defense stood out to Gallagher as one of the most impressive aspects of Emmaus’s run on Saturday. Incoming senior Ky Anthony and Alyssa Burkhart, who is going to be a junior, also played key roles for Gallagher over the weekend.
Anthony made it to the semifinals of the three-point contest on Saturday. Northwestern’s Sydney Sevrain won the competition.
“She [Watkins] played really well for us on the defense, which was very nice,” Gallagher said.
The Emmaus junior varsity team also gained valuable experience at the tournament. Much of that team was made up of freshmen, along with two sophomores and three eighth-graders suiting up.
“None of them played a lick of JV last year,” Gallagher said. “Only two of them played freshmen last year. So, it was their first taste of upper level competition. I think we left with two wins. We ended up playing Becahi JV twice, and both games came down to three points. We lost to the second Dieruff team, which had varsity players on it, and that was less than five points. We were in every game, but it was just a lack of experience at the upper level that hurt us down the stretch.”
Northampton defeated Bethlehem Catholic for the varsity tournament championship on Sunday, 38-29.