Hornets top Trojans, 60-51
There aren’t many better feelings in sports than beating a rival. What’s even better is beating a rival team twice in the same season.
That’s exactly what happened last week as four Emmaus boys basketball players scored in double-figures and Emmaus fought back in the second half to take down Parkland 60-51 last Thursday night in an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference showdown on the road at Parkland High School. It was the second straight victory for the Green Hornets (17-3 overall, 12-2 EPC) over the Trojans (13-7, 9-5) and the sixth consecutive win overall for Emmaus.
Senior Mark Swedberg tallied a team-high 15 points and added three rebounds and two blocks to lead the Hornets. Classmates Zach Sabol (14 points, 11 rebounds), Bryce Diehl (13 points, five rebounds, two steals) and Ethan Parvel (10 points) also reached double digits.
Emmaus was down 31-28 at halftime, but outscored Parkland 13-4 in the third quarter to take control of the game and never looked back on its way to earning the win.
“We had a great game plan from our coaches coming out of halftime,” said Diehl. “We adjusted our defense and fixed things that we were doing wrong in the first half. They were playing better and harder than us so we needed to come out with more energy and we did that in the second half.”
The Trojans went up early and held a 7-2 advantage 1:55 into the game, forcing a time out from head coach Steve Yoder.
The Hornets scored the next seven points after the time out to take their first lead of the game at 9-7.
After a back-and-forth next 5:25, which featured seven lead changes, Parkland took an 18-16 lead after the first quarter.
The Trojans never lost their lead in the second quarter, although there were two ties, and they went into the locker room up by three.
But once the third quarter began, the Green Hornets opened with the first four points and once it took a 34-33 lead midway through the quarter, never trailed again for the remainder of the game.
A big reason behind the comeback was the defense as Emmaus held Parkland to just two third quarter field goals and the Trojans shot just 2-for-13 from the floor. They went just 4-of-9 in the fourth.
“Defensively we like to be physical and aggressive and contest every shot,” Diehl said. “We want them to have to rush their shots so they don’t get a good look at the basket. We try not to give them enough time to be comfortable and make everything as uncomfortable as possible.”
Parkland was paced by Jared Kucharczuk, who finished with a game-high 16 points.
Emmaus followed the win over Parkland with a 54-52 win over Central Catholic, it’s eighth straight victory.
Nazareth ended the Hornet’s win streak Monday night with a 66-57 win.
Emmaus closes out its season at Whitehall Wednesday. Even with the loss to Nazareth, the Hornets will be one of the top three seeds in the league playoff tournament and host a quarterfinal game on Friday.