Hornets advance to state tournament
The Emmaus High School boys basketball team continued its 2022-23 season as it staved off a potential finale by defeating Freedom last Saturday afternoon, 77-66, in a District 11 Class 6A consolation game at Easton Area Middle School.
The Hornets advance to the PIAA playoffs as the third team out of District 11.
It was a tough 72 hours for Emmaus, which entered districts as the top seed. The Green Hornets fell to the fourth seed, Liberty, 46-43, in the semifinal round on Wednesday night. The setback removed the team’s goal of winning its first district title since 1986.
“It was a tough night,” said senior guard Dylan Darville. “We thought we could’ve and should’ve played better, but we didn’t. And that’s a horrible feeling to have. Our whole motto is to go 100 percent all the time and leave everything you have on the court and the result will take care of itself. We knew we needed to do better because we didn’t want the season to end.”
Emmaus did play better with its back against the wall. Led by Darville, who was held scoreless against the Hurricanes, the Hornets had a trio finish in double figures in scoring and they bounced back for an important win and will move on to states.
“We have so much fun together and enjoy playing together,” Darville said. “We love coming to practice, watching film and just being around each other, so it was definitely big to get this win and get another week together.”
Darville tallied a game-high 22 points. Will Barber recorded 18 points and Chase Muckey netted 14. Jametric Harris and Jake Fotta just missed out on double digits as each contributed nine points.
Now the Green Hornets set their sights on the state tournament. Even as the third-place team out of District 11, there are still chances at making a run, especially with the quality of the team which finished with an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference best record and currently sit at a 20-6 mark overall.
“We know we’re capable of winning games against good teams, and it just takes one game,” said Darville. “From here on out, we just play one game at a time and play the one team that is in front of us and see what happens from there.”
Emmaus will open with the three seed out of District 3, Hempfield, in the first round on Saturday afternoon at Hempfield High School.