Hornets win three straight
The Emmaus boys basketball team had faced its first adversity of the 2018-19 regular season earlier this month when it lost its two out of three games in a span of a week. But since January 11, the Green Hornets have won their last three games and righted the ship.
They have depth and are experienced, and they used both last Friday night as senior starter Zach Sabol and senior sixth-man Mark Swedberg combined to score 47 points in a 71-66 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference game over Allen at Emmaus High School.
The two teams have battled in some entertaining and highly-contested games over the last couple of years, and each brings out the best in the other. Friday was no different.
Emmaus (13-3 overall, 8-2 EPC) found itself ahead by single digits and sometimes just one possession in the fourth quarter, as it used its seniors, some free-throws, and a good defensive game plan in holding off the Canaries (9-6, 6-4) from pulling off a fourth quarter comeback.
“Allen is a really athletic team with an outstanding coach and they always play us hard,” said Sabol. “It’s always hard to overcome them when there are so many athletes on the floor making plays.”
Sabol did much of his damage in the second half, tallying 15 of his game-high 24 points over the final 16 minutes. He added another double-double to his resume, grabbing 18 rebounds.
The Green Hornets were actually trailing 36-34 at the intermission. A big part of the comeback was their proficiency from the charity stripe as they went 26-for-35, while Allen seemingly could not buy a basket from the line, finishing 13-of-23.
“Our free-throw shooting really helped us get this win,” Sabol said. “We’ve been working on them almost every practice because it is an important part of the game. It’s good to see that all of the practice is paying off. It also helps having a great home crowd that gets behind us that can get in the opposing team’s heads.”
Sabol had a big second half for the Hornets, but Swedberg was the go-to option in the first half. He scored 14 of his 23 in the opening 16 minutes to help pace Emmaus.
“Mark played phenomenal and finished almost everything,” said Sabol. “Our guards were hitting their shots and that opened up the paint for Mark and I to score because Allen had to respect our shooters.”
Senior Bryce Diehl contributed 10 points and classmate Ethan Parvel had nine for the Green Hornets.
Emmaus hosts Northampton on Friday in its final home regular season game this year before finishing with four consecutive road contests.