When Emmaus girls lacrosse coach Nancy DeBellis needed a goal, or several, the third-year coach could always count on senior midfielder Destanee Watkins to come through. She was one of the league’s leading scorers, and did it all on the field, on both the offensive and defensive sides. Watkins was recently named the East Penn Press Female Athlete of the Year for the 2015-16 school year.
The Emmaus girls basketball team missed this year’s Stellar Tournament in favor of playing the Holy Family Tournament Family Tournament, with a couple of other local programs, including Central Catholic.
But the Lady Hornets were in action this past weekend at Cedar Beach playing in this year’s SportsFest girls tournament.
The Emmaus girls, down a few players because of injury or other sports commitments, finished their run 1-2 last weekend, but showed promise and improvement in each of the three games.
Two weekends ago at the Stellar Catch A Rising Star Showcase tournament, the Emmaus boys varsity team struggled and suffered one of its quickest exits from the tournament in recent years. The Hornets lost their only two games of the double-elimination tournament.
But last weekend, in the second premier tournament of the summer, the Green Hornets had a much better showing.
Emmaus won all three games in the group stage, but fell in the Sweet 16 on Sunday morning, finishing 3-1 at the Sportsfest A-town Throwdown at Cedar Beach Park.
With the growing phenomenon that AAU basketball is, the high-profile showcase tournaments, where players can be scouted by college coaches, have been a must-attend events for prospects that want to play collegiate basketball. That has impacted teams from the Lehigh Valley when it comes to the two major summer basketball tournaments held annually at Allentown’s Cedar Beach Park.
It took five extra minutes, but the Emmaus boys basketball summer league regular season ended last Thursday night in a 49-48 loss in overtime to Southern Lehigh at Cedar Beach Park.
The defeat knocked the Green Hornets out of contention for the Stellar Summer League playoffs, which are set for the week after the Sportsfest tournament later this month,
On opening night back on May 26, the Emmaus Lehigh Valley Legion baseball team got the better of rival Lower Macungie thanks in large part to a five-run second inning. Last Tuesday evening at Church Lane field, Lower Mac returned the favor with a big inning of its own to start the game.
A four-run second inning propelled them to a 6-3 victory and some revenge on Emmaus.
The win brought Lower Mac over the .500 mark at 4-3, and Emmaus dropped to 5-2, ending a two game win streak.
Rising senior Matt Kachelries led the Emmaus boys basketball team in scoring with 11 points, but it was the play of an upcoming junior that may have led to the 33-30 win over Central Catholic last Thursday evening at Allen High School’s Sewards Gymnasium.
Leading 32-30 with under a minute remaining, a missed free-throw by the Green Hornets was rebounded by a diving Josh Artis to grab the loose ball before a Vikings player could get to it. He then hit one of two from the free-throw line.
With the score tied at 18-18 heading into halftime, Emmaus boys basketball head coach Steve Yoder could be heard preaching defense to his team in the huddle.
The fired-up coach must have said something that got through to the Green Hornets, as they went on to outscore Phillipsburg 38-24 in the second half to take the Stellar Summer League contest by a score of 56-42 last Tuesday night at Cedar Beach Park.
Acting head coach for Emmaus’ summer league team Eric Farkas said defense was the difference in the game.
It was a familiar setting for both teams last Wednesday night at Easton Area Middle School.
For the third consecutive year, the two teams battling for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference title were the top two teams in the league all year. And once again, top seeded Parkland got the better of second seed Emmaus in three games (25-15, 25-20, 25-18).
It was the second time this season that the Green Hornets (15-2 overall) were swept by the Trojans (17-1 overall).
Even after losing 11-3 to Easton in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference semifinals a week before heading into the district tournament, the Emmaus boys lacrosse team did not worry or panic.
The Hornets knew what they had in front of them. They had been there before, and had won. The District 11 playoffs had treated them well in previous years.
But Parkland did not care that the Green Hornets (12-9 overall) were the three-time defending district champions.
It was the third meeting this season between the two teams, with each splitting a game.