It was a tough task at hand, but one which was achievable.
The Emmaus boys basketball team entered the last week of the regular season needing two wins in its final three games to qualify for the District 11 Class 6A tournament. Not only did the Hornets win two, they won all three games last week to clinch their ninth consecutive trip to districts.
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).
Before going into its annual showdown with Parkland on Thursday, there was one piece of business that the Emmaus swimming and diving team had to take care of before facing its ultimate rivals.
A rescheduled meet against Liberty was moved to Emmaus because of ventilation issues at the Liberty pool.
Prior to Monday’s meet, Liberty, Emmaus and Parkland all had 10-0 marks in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, but Emmaus put a blemish on the Hurricanes’ season with a 100-84 win to send the Hornets into the meet with Parkland looking for an EPC championship.
With the return of Jess Hurlburt to Emmaus diving and the continued emergence of Brendan McCourt, there has been a piqued interest in diving for the Hornets.
At the midseason Eastern Pennsylvania Conference meet, Hurlburt didn’t compete, but McCourt was there and took first place. That set the scene for this past weekend when the EPC held its Diving Championship at Emmaus High School.
The meet ended with a piece of controversy when it was ruled that McCourt had changed the order of his dives without notifying the officials.
Allentown Central Catholic has been known as a knockdown-shooting team from behind the three-point line this season, and last Friday night at Emmaus High School was no different.
The Vikings connected on six 3-pointers by four different players in the first quarter to help them take a 22-9 lead after the opening frame, and while the Green Hornets fought back, they just did not have enough firepower to make it all the way back, falling 56-44 in an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference matchup.
The senior swimmers on this year’s Emmaus team had a bit of an advantage when coach Tim O’Connor rejoined the Emmaus Aquatic Club staff specifically to work with the seniors on the team.
The added work seemed to give them more insight into what it takes to compete in the sport and has helped them develop new routines, which have helped them make it through their final high school season.
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.
High school athletes always look forward to their senior season. They are generally looked up to by the younger players and they get that last shot at a big season either personally or as part of their team.
Cayley Grabowski was no different. She had added reason to look forward to her senior season after being named to the third team EPC all-stars as a junior. The two-sport player was also going to have new coaches in both basketball and softball for her senior season with a lot of excitement surrounding the two teams.
Take away one period and Monday’s ice hockey meeting between rivals Emmaus and Parkland could have been a completely different game.
The Trojans (13-0 overall, 26 points) scored five goals in the opening period to jump out to a 5-0 lead on the Hornets (6-6-1, 13 points) on their way to a 7-1 in Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League action.
For a few weeks in the middle of the season, the Emmaus boys basketball team missed it’s big man, as junior forward Zach Sabol was sidelined with an ankle injury. He recently returned and had one of the best games of his career last week against Dieruff.
Sabol pulled in 31 rebounds, to go along with 18 points in a 60-44 victory over the Huskies in an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference game at Emmaus High School. The 31 rebounds were the most that Sabol has recorded during his three years on the varsity, and may be an Emmaus record for rebounds in a game.