It’s not as if Emmaus had no incentive to win Monday night’s District 11 Class 6A boys basketball consolation game. Third place was on the line when the Hornets faced Pocono Mountain West at Easton Middle School.
But the Hornets’ future was already determined. Both Emmaus and West already clinched spots in the state tournament.
And neither team was fighting for a district championship. Emmaus head coach Steve Yoder believes that may have had a bit to do with his team’s performance on Monday.
The tradition of the Emmaus rifle team is rich to say the least. Perhaps a better word associated with the Hornets’ rifle team is “dynasty.”
After finishing as the runner-up to Southern Lehigh in the regular season with an 8-1 record, the Hornets got a bit of revenge in the playoffs. Emmaus edged the Spartans, 1,000-998 for the team playoff championship of the Northeast Pennsylvania Scholastic Rifle League.
That marked the second straight season Emmaus won the team playoff championship, and the fourth time in the last five years.
The Emmaus ice hockey team has dealt with its share of injuries this winter season, particularly as of late. And the scoreboard is reflecting those key losses on the ice for the Hornets.
In what was a night honoring eight Emmaus seniors, Northampton (7-8) played the roll of spoilers once the puck dropped at Lehigh Valley Ice Arena. Northampton scored four first-period goals and went on to defeat the Hornets, 6-0, in their regular season finale of the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL).
There are a number of talented wrestlers for Emmaus, ones that have medaled at districts and advanced to regionals in the past. But the Hornets found an unlikely hero on Saturday afternoon in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Duals.
Dylan Baldwin pinned his Pocono Mountain East opponent at 138 pounds, one of a number of toss-up matches that went the Hornets’ way, as Emmaus defeated the Cardinals for 11th place. The Hornets won nine of the 14 bouts, securing the 40-26 victory at Easton Area Middle School.
With two of the Colonial League’s best big men, Salisbury’s inside game was dominant at times last year.
But with graduating much of that talent, this season’s squad will feature a drastically different style of play.
Forwards Jaxson Costello (a Colonial League First Team all-star) and Ryan Slutsky (honorable mention selection) headline a group of six graduates from last year’s team that went 20-8 and qualified for the PIAA tournament.
Abby Dalton recalled four years ago, during her first trip to the state cross country meet, the “experts” that showed her the way. On Saturday, she was one of those experts in her final trip to Hershey.
Dalton placed 25th and earned the final medal of the PAA Class 3A girls race, running a time of 19:36 to pace the Hornet finishers. Dalton also provided guidance to freshman Kera Reinhard, who placed 103rd in 20:32.
It seemed as if every time Emmaus needed a stop on defense, Freedom had an answer on offense.
The host No. 3 seed Hornets trailed just 6-0 at halftime, yet it felt like much more than that. In the second half, No. 6 Freedom separated itself to pull off the upset on Friday night at Emmaus High School.
The Patriots built on that 6-0 lead with two quikc third-quarter touchdowns. Emmaus got on the scoreboard finally late in the third quarter and once more in the fourth, but Freedom advanced to the District 11 Class 6A football semifinals with a 26-15 victory.
Emmaus girls soccer head coach Sarah Oswald stressed the importance of playing a full 80 minutes of solid soccer before Monday’s game against rival Parkland. Unfortunately, a 10-minute stretch was the deciding factor against the Trojans.
Parkland broke a scoreless game in the second half with two goals in the first six minutes from Brooke Schutter. That turned out to be the deciding factor in keeping the Trojans (13-0 overall; 12-0 in EPC) unbeaten with their second win over the Hornets (8-5-1, 8-3-1) this season.
With the semifinals of the Lehigh Valley Summer Soccer League girls playoffs taking place Wednesday, four area teams are fighting for a chance to become champions.
Unfortunately for both Emmaus teams, their runs ended in the quarterfinal round on Monday at Lehigh University.
Lady Hornets 1, made up of seniors and a mix of freshmen and sophomores, came up a goal short against Central Catholic, 2-1. Lady Hornets 2 is comprised of mainly juniors, sprinkled in with freshmen and sophomores as well; they fell to Salisbury, Group B’s top seed, 2-0.
Several Emmaus High School graduates competed in college athletic teams during this past spring season.
Lehigh University junior Hanna Brosky was a member of the Mountain Hawks’ 4x800 meter relay team that placed second in the recent Patriot League Outdoor Championships. The foursome finished in 8:51.93. As a member of the 4x400 meter relay team, Brosky helped the Mountain Hawks to a seventh-place finish in 3:53.82. The junior nearly placed high enough in the 800-meter run to earn Lehigh team points, coming in eighth place.