Every summer, the main goal for the Emmaus boys basketball team is to reach Sunday at the Stellar Catch A Rising Star Tournament.
The Green Hornets are always looking to play well, win games, and improve as a team to gain experience for the winter season, but moving on to Sunday is the benchmark each team looks for.
Down two players in injured starters Joey Polczynski and David Kachelries, Emmaus won two games and advanced to Sunday's final day.
The Lower Macungie Legion team had to battle a long, hot road, but its come through the other side. The Mustangs have earned both a shot at the Lehigh Valley League playoff championship and a spot in the Regional 2 playoffs.
Lower Macungie clinched both spots with a 4-2 win over upstart Fullerton Monday night at Parkland High School. Lower Mac came in as the three-seed in the tournament, while Fullerton was ranked seventh and had to survive a play-in game against Salisbury to even gain a spot in the postseason.
It is something telling of a team that can advance to Sunday, the final day of competition at Stellar's Catch a Rising Star tournament at Cedar Beach park. It is the main goal for each team in it.
It may not have been the hardest of ways, but the Emmaus girls basketball team was still on the court on Sunday at Cedar Beach.
Two forfeits helped the Hornets along the way, but first-year head coach Carl Scheitrum was still pleased with the way his team played to make it to the final day.
Emmaus came into the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs having lost its last three regular season games, with the last two being one-run losses to South Parkland and West Allentown.
While not playing particularly well, Emmaus had high hopes based on a recent four-game win streak that pushed the team above the .500 mark.
In a back-and-forth game on the final day of the Stellar Summer League regular season, the Emmaus boys basketball team was able to come back, and then hold on to its lead as it played extra time in a 68-63 win against Southern Lehigh last Thursday night at Cedar Beach.
Joey Polczynski and Kevin Wambold (4 points) had key baskets, and Brandon Rapose (6 points) and Matt Kachelries (16 points) combined to go 5-for-6 from the free throw line to seal the game in overtime.
Teams like to go into the postseason on a hot streak. For Lower Macungie, that's not necessarily the case as the Mustangs finished the season having lost three of their last four games. Of course, two of those games were against North Parkland and South Parkland, the top two teams in the league.
North Parkland finished the season as the regular season champions with a 17-1 record. South Parkland finished at 14-4, but was the only team to defeat the Buffaloes during the regular season.
You never quite know what you're going to get when you play Emmaus. That fact could make the Hornets a dangerous team heading into the Lehigh Valley Legion tournament.
At times, Emmaus (8-10) has looked it they can beat just about anybody and at other times, it has struggled mightily. The tools are there, it's just a matter of putting things together to make it all work.
Cameron Widdoss knows what is expected of him this coming season, his final year playing for the Emmaus boys basketball team. Last year as a junior, Widdoss, along with his junior classmates, had a large hand in the leadership category because Tyler Prescott was the lone senior on the team.
Widdoss was doing just that last Thursday night inside Allen High School's gymnasium, leading his Green Hornets team to a 54-36 win against Easton.
Emmaus Legion had its four-game win streak snapped by North Parkland in an 11-1 loss last Sunday. Emmaus stands at 8-8 on the season and has clinched a spot in the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs, which begin next week.
The recent win streak saw Emmaus outscore their opponents 27-10 in the four games and has sent a bit of a message to the rest of the league. The four wins were all against likely playoff teams, including rival Lower Macungie, which makes the streak all the more impressive.
The Lehigh Valley and Berks-Schuylkill Legion All-Star teams battled to a 5-5 tie in 10 innings of baseball at Reading's FirstEnergy Stadium Monday night. Both teams had opportunities to win the game, but just when one team would gain an advantage, the other would come fighting back.
Tamaqua's Matt Roberts started for Schuylkill-Berks and put down Lehigh Valley in order in the top of the first and North Parkland's Nate Kern did the same against Schuylkill-Berks in the bottom of the inning.