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Kids hand Hornets first loss of season

The run was something special. The Emmaus High School boys basketball team won 10 straight games to open up the 2021-22 season for. But the lone unbeaten team from District 11 suffered its first setback as the Green Hornets were downed by an upset-minded Northampton team last Friday night, 46-42, in an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference West Division game at Emmaus High School.

Emmaus fell to 10-1 overall and 5-1 in the EPC.

“While we are all disappointed about the loss, we need to keep working on our craft,” said Hornet head coach Steve Yoder. “Having a 10-1 record has been great, but everything is still in front of us. We need to stay focused, motivated, and hungry as individuals and as a unit. We do not be content with what we accomplished in the first half of the season. We need to continue to improve.”

The Kids improved to 5-4 overall and 2-4 in the EPC. They had two players catch fire from the floor in seniors Isaac Harris and Lucas Lesko, who combined for 35 points. Harris netted a game-high 20 points, including four 3-pointers. Northampton led 17-12 after one quarter and built as much as a 10-point lead in the first half. The Hornets climbed back to pull within just one, 32-31 in the third quarter, but were unable to finish the comeback effort.

“Northampton controlled the tempo, kept it low-scoring, and withstood several of our rallies,” Yoder said. “As always, [Kids head coach] Coy [Stampone] had them ready to play. It doesn’t matter what their record is, they always play tough.

“The EPC is certainly as deep and talented a conference as you see in the state,” said Yoder. “Every team, on any given night, can and will beat you. It is going to be important to keep working on our deficiencies and take care of our bodies during what will be the ultimate grind. Hard work and focus may put us in a position to qualify for EPC Playoffs and districts. If we earn that opportunity, we know that anything can happen, and I am sure the boys will be really excited about continuing to show how their hard work and commitment are hopefully turning the team and program into one that will have some great opportunities come February and hopefully into March.”

Senior Jadis Brevitt led Emmaus in scoring with 12 points against Northampton, while sophomore Will Barber added 11 and senior Ryan Santos finished with nine.

“I think with our early success, and with what some might say is surprising success, it is human nature to become somewhat content,” Yoder said. “We as a staff want the boys to continue to keep that edge we had in the first 9-10 games of the season. I think the boys came into the season with a lot to prove. I hope they can continue to approach the season with the understanding that there is still a lot more out there that we can continue to prove.”

This week the Hornets are scheduled to play at Pocono Mountain West Tuesday and then at Parkland on Thursday.

PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERB The Hornets' Will Barber drives to the basket during a recent game against Freedom.