Shorthanded Hornets hang with Red Rovers
Missing a couple of starters and/or regular players in its rotation, and facing the runner-up from the Cedar Beach Bash at the Beach Tournament last weekend, not many would have given the Emmaus boys basketball team a chance in its summer league game against Easton last week.
But the Green Hornets battled and held on until the very end, falling to the Rovers 65-56 in overtime last Thursday night in the Lehigh Valley boys basketball summer league at Cedar Beach.
Emmaus made a deep run into the final day of the tournament last weekend, and then had a few days to recover, as Tuesday’s summer league games were rained out.
The Rovers have been one of the hottest teams in area this summer, finishing in second place at the first big summer tournament as they were just downed by eventual champion Wilson West Lawn.
“Easton’s been one of the better teams this summer and they’re playing really well,” said assistant varsity coach Eric Farkas. “We were missing some guys tonight but I thought we did a really good job of not only competing and staying with them, but nearly coming away with the win.”
Trailing 52-49, Joel Contreras connected from long range to tie the game at 52-52 with less than 10 seconds to go in regulation. Emmaus stood firm defensively on the next possession and forced overtime. Contreras also drained a three-pointer as the clock expired at the end of the first half to give the Hornets a 26-25 advantage into intermission.
Easton went on a 13-4 run in the five minute overtime period to come out on top.
“I was proud of the way we battled all game,” Farkas said. “I think we got a little bit tired in the overtime and Easton hit some shots and some free throws, and we didn’t connect as much on ours.”
The Red Rovers were leading 49-47 with under two minutes left and Emmaus had two straight possessions where it tried to take back the lead, but missed on two consecutive three-point attempts. The Hornets were within one point at 50-49 after two free throws by Danny Bohman, and then Contreras hit the tying three after a pair of Easton free-throws that made the score 52-49.
Contreras tallied a team-high 16 points while Bohman added nine. Meech Rogers also contributed nine points.
“I thought that with us installing a new offense and a bunch of younger guys contributing more that we had a pretty good week of basketball,” said Farkas. “Win or lose, we just want them to compete and play hard and they’ve been doing that. We’re going to keep getting better.”