The Emmaus boys basketball team was in need of a spark. Having lost two games in a row earlier this month, the Green Hornets fell below .500 with a 5-6 record overall. They were also without regular starters in juniors Zach Sabol (foot injury) and Bryce Diehl (illness) for much of that stretch, and struggled to find an offensive rhythm.
Just like it had a year ago, the Emmaus boys basketball team competed in the Allen Holiday Tournament at William Allen High School over the Christmas break. And just as in December of 2016, the Hornets defeated Springfield-Delco in their first game before falling to the host Canaries in the final.
Last Thursday in the opener, Emmaus took down Springfield 67-50 behind 19 points each by juniors Zach Sabol and Bryce Diehl. But in the championship game the next night, the Hornets were beaten by Allen 62-52.
From her sophomore year to her junior year Emmaus volleyball player Caroline Bond saw improved play, not only individually but also from the Green Hornets program.
Bond finished her junior campaign with 863 assists and 258 digs on her way to earning District 11 MVP honors.
“It’s a great honor because I worked really hard to get to where I am,” said Bond. “Last year I was more passive, and this year, as an upperclassmen, I knew I had to be more aggressive and be more of a leader. I gained a lot of experience in the offseason and just matured as a player this year.”
For two-and-a-half quarters it looked as if the Emmaus boys basketball team was not only going to defeat rival Parkland, but it also seemed the Hornets would get a victory rather easily in front of a rowdy, sold out crowd in the Hive.
The script was set for the Hornets to receive an early Christmas present, but then the Trojans came back from down 16 points to win the early season Eastern Pennsylvania Conference game 50-47 last Tuesday, Dec. 19 at Emmaus High School.
After a sluggish and late start to the 2017-18 regular season, the Emmaus boys basketball team got into the win column with its first victory, rallying in the fourth quarter to take down host Northampton 53-47 last Friday night an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference game at Northampton High School.
The Emmaus boys basketball program had one of its best seasons in school history last year. The Hornets went 22-7 overall and were 7.9 seconds away from clinching a berth in the state semifinals before falling to Carlisle 78-74 in double overtime of the PIAA Class 6A quarterfinal round.
Emmaus used a high-powered offense to win the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Skyline Division, reach the District 11 Class 6A semifinals and win two games in the state tournament, the most in program history.
It felt like déjà vu for the Emmaus girls volleyball team.
Emmaus and Nazareth met again on the court for the second time in nine days, the third time this month. And once again the Blue Eagles got the better of the Hornets.
Nazareth took down Emmaus in the District 11 Class 4A semifinals in five games (25-16, 23-25, 22-25, 25-22, 15-9) on Thursday, Oct. 26.
The Emmaus and Parkland ice hockey teams have sometimes had a good rivalry in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Ice Hockey league.
But when these two teams met for the first time this season on October 23, one team came out and dominated the score column.
The Trojans scored four times the first two periods en route to an 8-0 over Emmaus at the PPL Center.
It was the second straight loss for Emmaus after falling to Freedom 4-1 in its previous game.
For the second consecutive year, the Emmaus and Freedom football teams will meet in the District 11 Class 6A tournament.
Last season they met in the district semifinals, this year it will be a round earlier as the Patriots (5-5 overall) travel to East Penn School District Stadium Friday night to take on the Hornets (6-4) in the quarterfinal round.
The teams also met in on the last Friday in September this season with Freedom coming out on top 24-17.
Everyone around the Emmaus and Parkland football programs remembers the last matchup between these two rivals that ended the 2016 regular season.
A goal-line stand on fourth and one propelled the Green Hornets to the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference title in 2016, finishing the regular season 9-1 overall.
It is a new year and a different venue as Emmaus and Parkland will once again meet in the season finale Friday night, this time at Parkland School District Stadium.