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EHS hangs on for win over Huskies

It felt like it had been an eternity for those involved, but the high school basketball season in District 11 and the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference had its season-opening night last Friday. Playing in front of no spectators in an eerily quiet gymnasium, the Emmaus High School boys basketball team held on to take down Dieruff 68-65 in an East Penn Conference Lehigh Division game at Emmaus.

The Green Hornets (1-0 overall) jumped out to a double-digit lead in the second quarter, only to see the Huskies (0-1) claw back and tie the score at halftime and eventually take their own lead early in the third quarter. But Emmaus took back the lead with a 23-12 run that spanned two quarters and held off a late spurt from Dieruff to claim the victory.

Senior Danny Bohman tallied a game-high 25 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Fellow senior Jameel Sanders recorded 17 points and seven rebounds, while Shep Henseler and Meech Rogers each added nine points. Jadis Brevitt contributed eight points for the Green Hornets.

“We were just excited to get back out there and shake the rust off,” said Sanders. “We brought the energy tonight, and we needed to. They have an athletic and scrappy team and didn’t give up. We had to work hard until the end and had to earn this win.”

Bohman and Sanders took turns leading the charge in each half. Bohman scored 15 of his 25 points in the opening quarter, including three 3-pointers. Sanders chipped in 13 of his 17 in the second half, and five of his seven rebounds as he made his presence known under the glass.

“Coach (Steve Yoder) wanted me to play more aggressively,” Sanders said. “I took that to heart. I turned up my energy level and played more physical.”

Following a back-and-forth first five minutes of the opening stanza, Emmaus finished the quarter on a 13-4 run to lead 23-14. The Green Hornets led by 30-18 midway through the second quarter before the Huskies ended the half on a 15-3 spurt to tie the score at halftime, 33-33.

Dieruff scored the opening basket of the second half to take its first lead of the game, but Emmaus would score the next 12 points to go up 45-35 and never look back.

“We take this as a learning experience,” said Sanders. “It was great to get the win, but we know that we can play better. It was the first game of the year so we knew there would be things to work on. We’re excited to continue to play.”

With condensed schedules this year, EPC teams are playing all league games against in-county opponents. Emmaus will take on each team in the Lehigh Division twice this season. Emmaus traveled to Dieruff Tuesday, and then will take on Allen Thursday and Saturday. The other teams in the division include Central Catholic, Parkland and Whitehall.

PRESS FILE PHOTO Jameel Sanders scored 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds in a season-opening win over Dieruff Friday night.