Hornets fall in D-11 third-place game
Emmaus was shocked early in its game against Allen in the District 11 Class 6A semifinals last week, as the Hornets fell into a quick 10-point deficit. It was too much of a deficit to overcome for the top-seeded Hornets.
The same issue arose three days later in the third-place game back at Freedom High School.
Led by a game-high 38 points from Jeremiah Anderson, East Stroudsburg South jumped out to a nine-point lead after eight minutes. The Cavaliers led by as much as 13 points in the second quarter and held off an Emmaus rally for a 59-51 win at Joseph J. McIntyre Gymnasium.
“I don’t think the boys were necessarily up for it in the first 16 minutes,” Hornet head coach Steve Yoder said. “But they were certainly up for it in the second 16 minutes. That was a better effort. But falling behind in these last two games against state-level programs, you can’t do it. You expend so much time to get back into the game, and it’s hard to finish.”
For the second time in three days, the top-seeded Hornets got off to a slow start against inferior opponents.
Despite a 26-15 deficit at halftime, the Hornets came out of the locker room with a sense of urgency. Zach Sabol (18 points) scored eight points in the third period to get Emmaus within a bucket after 24 minutes.
“I thought Zach deferred a little bit in the beginning of the game,” Yoder said. “He’s a great passer and he wants to get his teammates involved. We totally get that. We also need the big fella to establish himself right at the beginning of the game.”
Ethan Parvel then stole a ball early in the fourth quarter and advanced it up to Bryce Diehl, who tied the game at 34-34 with 6:20 to play. The two teams were deadlocked at 36 moments later, but the Cavaliers, in particular Anderson, took over the final six minutes.
“Apparently at halftime we pushed some of the right buttons because the kids came out and played with some heart, energy and pride,” Yoder said. “But we, as a staff, didn’t get them where they needed to be today. That’s on us.”
Anderson grew East Stroudsburg South’s lead to 43-36 after securing a rebound and taking it the length of the court for a layup. Moments later he made it 45-38 with another bucket.
In all, Anderson finished with 24 points in the fourth quarter, more than the Hornets scored in that period (21). He went 15-for-17 from the foul line in the fourth quarter alone.
“He’s really, really good,” Yoder said. “He’s probably as good as any player individually that we’ve played this year. You can’t speed him up. He had a big day. Our focus was entirely to try to take him out.”
Emmaus finished with 18 turnovers, 12 of which came in the opening half that allowed the Cavs to lead 8-2 early and 26-13 in the second quarter.
“We just turned the ball over,” Yoder said. “We work on it during practice. We work on breaking pressure. We work on ways to initiate offense to alleviate pressure. We just didn’t execute it.”
Emmaus will face District 1’s No. 2 seed Coatesville on Saturday. Game time is set for 4 p.m. at Pottstown High School.