Emmaus boys basketball head coach Steve Yoder has been a part of 11 season-ending locker room talks. Despite a loss in Saturday’s opening round of the state tournament, this year might have been the most pleasant he’s seen a locker room in his 11 seasons.
The Hornets, the fourth-place team out of District 11, played District 1 runner-up Coatesville tough for much of Saturday’s first-round state playoff contest. But Coatesville’s athleticism was too much to handle as the Red Raiders came away with an 85-74 victory behind 41 points from point guard Jhamir Brickus.
The 2019 Emmaus boys tennis season features 11 young men who are led by one “little beast.”
To be sure, the Green Hornets squad is more than sensational sophomore Sean Jaeger. That said, last year’s District 11 Class 3A boys tennis champion is a whole lot of tennis player.
The Emmaus swimming and diving team is well represented at the PIAA championships, which will held this weekend at Bucknell University. Seven swimmers, six relay teams and one diver will represent the Green Hornets at Kinney Natatorium on Friday and Saturday.
Diver Brendan McCourt, a junior, is the highest seeded individual. At least year’s meet, McCourt finished seventh in the competition, making him the highest-finishing sophomore in the event dominated by senior and junior divers.
Emmaus was shocked early in its game against Allen in the District 11 Class 6A semifinals last week, as the Hornets fell into a quick 10-point deficit. It was too much of a deficit to overcome for the top-seeded Hornets.
The same issue arose three days later in the third-place game back at Freedom High School.
Everything seemed to be working in Caden Wright’s favor in Saturday’s 170-pound regional final. Everything except for maybe a few seconds in the second period.
Stroudsburg’s Lenny Pinto used a five-point move in the second period to help defeat Wright, 8-4, last week in the Northeast Class 3A Regional Tournament at Liberty High School.
It was the second time in a week’s span that Pinto defeated Wright for a championship. Last week it was for the District 11 Class 3A crown. But Wright seemed to have learned a few things from districts.
The last time that a team other than Emmaus won the team championship at the District 11 Swimming and Diving Championships, it was almost a completely different world. A computer company named Apple had just introduced the first iPhone, but it hadn’t yet been released. John McCain, Rudi Guiliani, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were all running for president and the final Harry Potter book was being published.
That was 2007 and with their team championship last weekend in districts, the streak continues, reaching 12 straight years.
As it turns out, this was the year. Throughout the swimming season, members of the girls swimming and diving team from Emmaus were slow to make predictions about breaking the 10-year grip that the Parkland held on the District 11 championship.
When asked about the possibilities of knocking off Parkland, the Hornets would generally offer a wry smile with a response along the lines of “we’ll see.” On Saturday, those wry smiles turned to huge, joyous ones and the Emmaus girls swimmers talked about having won their first District 11 team championship since 2008.
The Emmaus boys basketball team was itching to get back on the court.
Following a heartbreaking loss in the final seconds of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference title game, the Green Hornets had a week off to think about that game and to prepare for a district title run.
The time off and hunger from that loss helped as top-seed Emmaus came out fast and led from start to finish, taking care of ninth-seeded Pocono Mountain West 76-60 last Saturday night at Allen High School in the District 11 Class 6A Quarterfinal Round.
Brendan McCourt won the District 11 Diving Championship for the second time in two years this past weekend. While he was happy about the win and a second gold medal, he readily admits that it wasn’t his best performance and wasn’t as satisfying as his first taste of gold.
“I came in hoping to beat my personal best or at least beat my score from last year in districts, but I didn’t even do that,” lamented McCourt, who scored a 516.45 this year after notching a 520.80 last year as a sophomore. His personal best – and the school record – for an 11-dive performance is a 551.
Caden Wright faced Stroudsburg’s Lenny Pinto twice already this season. Both times Pinto had gotten the better of the Emmaus junior.
Despite that, Wright was confident the third time was the charm with a district title on the line. Unfortunately, Pinto had other plans.
Wright fell to Pinto via an 11-5 decision in the 170-pound final of Saturday’s District 11 3A Championships at Liberty High School.