Four league basketball champions were crowned Friday night as both Lehigh Valley area high school athletic conferences held finals.
The Allen boys and Bethlehem Catholic girls won titles in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference games, held at Freedom High School. Bangor boys and Southern Lehigh girls captured Colonial League crowns at Easton Middle School.
The Canaries pulled out to a 46-23 halftime lead and never looked back, taking the title with an 82-64 victory.
Emmaus came out on top on both sides of its annual rivalry swim meet against Parkland.
The Hornet boys team won just three individual events and a relay, but Emmaus’ depth helped overcome a strong Trojan effort 98-88.
Emmaus girls took six individual events and two of three relays to hold off a deep Parkland girls team 100-86.
The Hornets finish 11-0 and both the boys and girls team secured Eastern Pennsylvania Conference titles in their final dual meet of the season. Parkland boys and girls finish 10-1 in league meets.
No one can say for sure how last week’s wrestling match might have unfolded if Emmaus was able to field its full line up against Parkland.
But judging by the results, it would be hard to argue that the Hornets would have lost if three of their wrestlers didn’t miss the match.
The Hornets fell 34-24, but they had to forfeit two bouts and make a few other adjustments in order to give themselves a chance last Wednesday in Orefield.
Three Emmaus runners competed in the most competitive high school cross country race the state has to offer last weekend in Hershey.
Del Vierling, Abby Dalton and Abby Heilenman represented the Hornets in Saturday’s PIAA Class 3A Cross Country Championship race.
Dalton, a junior who was making her third trip to states in three years, finished in 37th place in the girls race while Heilenman was 157th in her first trip to states for cross country. Vierling, a senior, competed in his first PIAA Championship race, finishing 157th.
The Emmaus boys soccer team advanced through last Tuesday’s District 11 Class 4A semifinal with a 3-a win over Stroudsburg.
The Hornets got goals from Callen Reid, Nick Cari and Kacper Grycel in the win, which avenged a 3-0 loss to the Mountaineers back on Sept. 23.
“It was the lowest point in our season,” said Emmaus head coach John Cari. “They put it to us. Our kids didn’t forget it. We made some adjustments to make a difference out there.
Emmaus has won in different ways this season.
Most times the Hornets rely on their offensive line and sophomore running back tandem. Sometimes they ask the defense to carry the load. Other times it’s been their special teams game.
Last week in a 23-13 District 11 playoff win over Liberty, Emmaus got contributions in all three phases of the game.
Del Vierling has been working for three years to get to the state cross country meet.
His hard work paid off last week when he took fifth place overall to earn a trip to this weekend’s Class 3A state championship Saturday in Hershey.
“It feels great,” said Vierling. “Last year I was just out. It feels great to make it this year and do well.”
It was not an easy road to the District 11 boys soccer playoffs. But now that the Hornets are there, they plan to make the most of it.
Emmaus earned the No. 5 seed in districts and opened play with a convincing 4-0 win over Northampton last week in the quarterfinal round.
Three years ago Del Vierling ran in his first cross country league championship race. It was the first year for the new league and the first year for Vierling as a cross country runner.
He broke the top 100 in that first championship race, finishing 95th. He’s gotten a whole lot better since then. He cracked the top 20 last year, finishing 14th, and soon began training hard for his senior season.
As the final 10 minutes of the game approached, the Emmaus field hockey team needed a spark during last week’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference championship.
Stroudsburg was doing all it could to protect the 1-0 lead it took in the first half, but Emmaus wasn’t going to be denied.
The Hornets tied the game in the 49th minute when Kira Koehler scored with an assist from Meredith Sholder with 10:48 left to play.
Just over five minutes later, Leah Zellner scored her first of two quick goals that put Emmaus in control of the game en route to a 3-1 win.