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Emmaus boys win tournament

Through the first half of the 2021-22 season, the Emmaus High School boys basketball team has an unblemished record at 9-0 overall. The Green Hornets have done everything head coach Steve Yoder has hoped they would, but there’s still a lot more to be done.

“The solid start is great for our confidence,” said Yoder. “However, the reality is that we have not yet even reached our primary goal, which is to hit 11 (wins) and qualify for districts. Our start puts us in a great position, and I am excited for the boys, but we hope this is simply a springboard to future success.”

Last season, the schedule was condensed due to the pandemic, so Emmaus was forced to play mainly Eastern Pennsylvania Conference games and not compete against nonleague competition.

This year was different as the Green Hornets traveled to Spring-Ford High School to play in their holiday tournament last week.

“It felt great to play, but it felt even better to beat two really quality teams in Spring-Ford and CB South,” Yoder said. “The boys are doing a great job of staying in the moment and valuing every opportunity they are presented with. Considering all of the uncertainty surrounding winter sports at this time, it is going to be important to appreciate every opportunity and play each game as if it could be our last.”

In the opener against the host Rams, Emmaus had a lead, but would relinquish it, before pulling it out on a game-winning shot near the buzzer by Will Barber to win 53-49.

“Spring-Ford is a really talented team that showed a lot of resolve during their comeback,” said Yoder. “Our group showed a real grittiness, overcoming the loss of Dylan [Darville] in the first quarter and fighting back after giving up the lead. We were able to pull it out, because many of the boys stepped up their play individually, to compensate for the loss of Dylan. A real team win.”

Darville, a starter and one of the team’s top scorers, left the game with an ankle injury.

The following night, the Green Hornets once again took an early lead and this time stayed on top throughout, defeating Central Bucks South 69-55, led by 23 from Barber and 18 by Jadis Brevitt.

“Again, the next evening, we showed an ability, as a team to overcome the adversity of not having Dylan, as well as Ryan Santos being a bit banged up,” Yoder said. “We got off to an amazing start and were able to hang on due to our confidence in each other collectively. Incredibly proud of their toughness over the holiday. Especially when you factor in the 14-point, come-from-behind win on the road two days before Christmas, against a really talented ESS team, it was a great way to end the 2021 schedule.”

Emmaus ramps up its conference slate with EPC games this week against Freedom and Northampton.

“We’re looking forward to having the opportunity to keep playing and improve our craft,” said Yoder. “As long as we do not get content with our accomplishments to this point and continue to try to improve, we hope to be a team that can continue to have some success, in what is going to be a brutal second-half schedule.”