East Penn Press

Tuesday, August 21, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY BOB FORDEmmaus’ Megan Navitsky tries to get around Pleasant Valley’s Mikaela Miller. PRESS PHOTO BY BOB FORDEmmaus’ Megan Navitsky tries to get around Pleasant Valley’s Mikaela Miller.
PRESS PHOTO BY BOB FORD Kathryn KeJohn looks for an open teammate during last Friday's game at Pleasant Valley. PRESS PHOTO BY BOB FORD Kathryn KeJohn looks for an open teammate during last Friday's game at Pleasant Valley.

Girls show improvement in loss to PHS

Sunday, January 28, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to Press in Sports

Anyone who has watched the Emmaus girls basketball this season has seen players slowly developing and coming into their own. The game against Parkland Monday night was somewhat of a microcosm of that growth. A young Emmaus team lost 57-39, but there were moments during the game when Emmaus (3-6 EPC; 6-8 overall) showed just how far its come.

The standout portion came in the second quarter when Emmaus trailed by 14 points. Slowly, the Emmaus defense stiffened and the Hornets were able to generate some offense by moving the ball around and finding an open player. Eventually, the 14-point lead was cut to nine.

It might not seem like much, but for a team that is as young as Emmaus, those moments are what coach Kelsey Gallagher is building around. Being able to outplay a talented team like Parkland (7-2, 8-5), even for a portion of a game, is a good sign.

“We played our hearts out and even though we lost by 18, it sounds a lot worse than it was because we competed with them possession-after-possession,” said Emmaus head coach Kelsey Gallagher. “We fouled them a lot and gave them 17 points from the foul line, so we’ve got to do a better job playing defense, but this was a very good step toward what we can be.”

In all, Parkland was at the line 22 times and missed just five of those shots. The Trojans were also able to unload for six three-pointers in the game, with both Julia Buchman and Claire Courter hitting for three. Buchman finished with 17 points and Courter had 14 for the Lady Trojans.

Emmaus was led by senior Bri Hart and sophomore Brooke Wunderler, who came off the bench to score seven second-half points.

“Overall, we’re very young and we’re young for the varsity level and that’s what a lot of people don’t remember. One girl [Hart] got significant minutes last year and CC [Wippel] got some minutes and Kat [Kathryn DeJohn] and Leah [Tannous] shared some minutes,” said Gallagher. “It’s a good problem to have, so I’m definitely looking forward.”

Gallagher believes that a big part of the development this season has been because of the work of her seniors like Hart, Wippel, DeJohn and Tannous.

“That speaks to our seniors, because they’ve taken these younger girls under their wings and they’re adapting to what we’ve wanted them to do,” said Gallagher.

The remaining schedule may be one of the tougher ones in the EPC. The Hornets have two games against Nazareth (6-3, 10-5) and have Easton (8-1, 12-2), Central Catholic (6-3, 8-5) and Northampton (7-3, 10-5) to play. Of the eight remaining games, only two are at home.

“After tonight, these last eight games are going to be exciting, but if we continue to battle and continue to play our basketball, every game is going to be a battle,” Gallagher said.