Hornets bounce back, beat P-town
The Emmaus boys basketball team needed some momentum. After winning nine of its first 10 games, including eight in a row to start the 2018-19 season, the Green Hornets lost two of their next three, both by double-figures.
One night after falling at home to Liberty, Emmaus returned to the Hornets Nest looking to get back on the right foot. It did just that, led by two of its seniors.
Zach Sabol and Bryce Diehl combined for 49 points in a 70-57 non-conference win over Pottstown Saturday night.
“It was a good win for us and a good team for us to play,” said Hornet head coach Steve Yoder. “They are very athletic. The game didn’t need to be as tight as it was. We had a horrible second quarter, but we won the three other quarters by like 20 and that was the difference. Tonight feels a lot better than it did last night.”
The win secures a postseason berth for the Green Hornets (11-3 overall, 6-2 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference) in the District 11 tournament for the 10th consecutive year.
Reeling a bit after its last three games, Emmaus needed to start quick and gain back some confidence.
The Horents opened the game scoring the first 11 points and then buckling down defensively to secure the game.
Sabol led the way with a game-high 28 points and was near perfect from the floor, finishing the game shooting 13-of-15 (87-percent).
“We challenged Zach tonight to be more physical and have his presence be felt more,” Yoder said. “He’ll be the first one to tell you that last night he probably didn’t work as hard as he needed to on the block, and it happens. He does so much for us and he’s an amazing player. Fortunately it was just one night and he was back to his dominant self tonight.”
While Sabol was once again a force on the inside, his classmate Diehl did a lot of his damage on the perimeter. He tallied 21 points and went 2-for-3 from long distance.
“The last few games Bryce is really coming on,” said Yoder. “He is somebody we ask to do a lot of different things, especially defensively. We extend him defensively, so his offense probably suffers a little bit. But right now he’s in a rhythm and I’m very proud of Bryce.”
After dominating the first eight minutes, leading 24-11 after one quarter, the Trojans (6-7) turned the tables in the second quarter and outscored the Green Hornets 21-8 to get back into the game, tying it at 32-32 heading into halftime.
But Emmaus used the third quarter to take back the game, leading by nine entering the fourth quarter. The final frame was back-and-forth, but the Horents’ defense held off an attempted comeback effort by Pottstown.
Mark Swedberg netted nine points and Devon Boyko added seven for the Green Hornets.
Emmaus has games at East Stroudsburg North (Tuesday) and home against Allen on Friday.