In a back-and-forth game on the final day of the Stellar Summer League regular season, the Emmaus boys basketball team was able to come back, and then hold on to its lead as it played extra time in a 68-63 win against Southern Lehigh last Thursday night at Cedar Beach.
Joey Polczynski and Kevin Wambold (4 points) had key baskets, and Brandon Rapose (6 points) and Matt Kachelries (16 points) combined to go 5-for-6 from the free throw line to seal the game in overtime.
Cameron Widdoss knows what is expected of him this coming season, his final year playing for the Emmaus boys basketball team. Last year as a junior, Widdoss, along with his junior classmates, had a large hand in the leadership category because Tyler Prescott was the lone senior on the team.
Widdoss was doing just that last Thursday night inside Allen High School's gymnasium, leading his Green Hornets team to a 54-36 win against Easton.
The Emmaus boys basketball team has had a strong start to its summer season. With only one loss on the year, coming in an overtime game against Central Catholic, the Green Hornets have been getting contributions from several players, including some newcomers to the varsity program.
Josh Artis is one of those newcomers who came up big in a 54-43 summer league win over Quakertown last Tuesday night at Parkland High School as games were played inside because of rain.
Early in the summer, the boys basketball landscape looks nothing like what it will in mid-July, leading up to the winter season.
With the Stellar and Sportsfest tournaments, and summer league playoffs, games heat up and teams usually will have their entire teams, including the head coaches.
During the summer league regular season games, players are involved in other things like vacations, AAU games and legion baseball.
It was a welcome sight for head coach Scott Ketcham and his Emmaus boys lacrosse team last Wednesday night. Ketcham said before the opener of the PIAA tournament that this year's squad was the most prepared team he has had in the last three years, with those two other teams also reaching states.
And the Green Hornets showed that they came in prepared. After having to scratch and claw back from deficits in the District 11 semifinals and finals, Emmaus (14-8) held a 3-2 advantage at halftime.
The matchups between Emmaus and Parkland boys lacrosse in 2015 have been hard to understand. In the two regular season games, each team held a multiple-goal early lead, and then lost the game.
Last Thursday night, it was a similar start, but different ending.
The Trojans jumped out to a four-goal lead in the first 14 minutes, and then weathered a strong, late game comeback attempt by the Green Hornets to win the East Penn Conference semifinal contest 9-8 at Andrew Leh Stadium at Nazareth Area High School.
It was a tale of two different games for the Emmaus girls lacrosse team and its rival Parkland.
In the first matchup, a 20-9 loss on April 7, the Green Hornets were right there neck-and-neck with the Trojans, just one goal down at halftime.
But last Thursday afternoon, Parkland raced out to an early 5-0 lead in the first five minutes before Emmaus could even get a shot on goal, and the early deficit was too much to overcome as the Green Hornets fell to the Trojans 12-5 at Troxell Middle School field.
Unlike the last time Parkland and Emmaus met last month, a 10-8, back-and-forth contest won by the Green Hornets, Emmaus led by four goals Monday afternoon at Orefield Middle School. But the Hornets lost it in the second half as the Trojans stormed back to win 11-6.
"Possession was the key," said head Emmaus coach Scott Ketcham. "We weren't able to possess for the better part of two and a half quarters. Even if you have a good defense, it's going to wear you down if the offense doesn't have the ball.
The Emmaus boys lacrosse team had a rough weekend in Pittsburgh two weeks ago. The Green Hornets lost two games by close scores, 11-10 to Mount Lebanon and 13-8 to North Allegheny.
They were tough losses to swallow after the long trip across the state, and a convincing win is just what they needed most.
Emmaus got that last Wednesday night in a 19-2 throttling of Liberty at Memorial Field at Emmaus High School.
Looking at the scoreboard at halftime, it showed Emmaus 6, Parkland 7. It was just a one-goal game in favor of Parkland, which was unusual for the Trojans girls lacrosse team this year. They've had most games in hand by hafltime. But this rivalry always brings out the best in both teams.