Hornets fall to PHS
The Emmaus boys basketball seemed to have Parkland’s back to the wall last Monday when two-time East Penn Conference MVP Nick Coval got in foul trouble and missed more than 11 minutes of the first half.
But the Parkland bench kept the Trojans in the game and Coval returned to hit some big shots in the second half and lead his team to a 50-42 win on Dec. 8 at Parkland High School.
“We weren’t going to run away to a 15-point lead,” said Emmaus head coach Steve Yoder of the Hornets’ opportunity to pull away with Coval on the bench. “I felt the game was going to be exactly what it was.
“We’re going to learn from this. We missed too many free throws. Missed a couple lay ups and you can’t do that in a game like this.”
Coval picked up his third foul and went to the bench with 3:40 left in the first quarter and his team trailing 7-4. He came back for one play at the end of the quarter and hit a three-pointer to put his team up 15-14 after one quarter.
Playing without their top scorer in the second period, the Trojans fell behind as the Hornets’ Jametric Harris scored nine points in the quarter to help his team take a 25-22 halftime lead.
Parkland tightened its defense in the third quarter, holding the Hornets to just six points to take a 33-31 lead into the final period.
Emmaus started the fourth on a 9-2 run thanks to three-point play and a pair of free throws from Will Barber and a Jametric Harris basket that gave their team a 39-36 lead with 4:45 left in the game.
Coval, who had 15 points in the fourth quarter, scored to get his team within one then put it ahead for good with a three-pointer off a set play with 2:01 left to play. Parkland made 10 of 12 free throws over the final two minutes to seal the win, while Emmaus made just five of 10 in the fourth.
“There’s a lot of positives from the game,” said Yoder. “We just didn’t close and they did. You have two really competitive and pretty evenly-matched teams that were getting after it.
“For 29 minutes of the game it was anybody’s ballgame. They did a nice job of making their free throws down the stretch.
“This is probably just one of many times we’re going to play Parkland this year and we’re going to learn from it.”
Coval scored a game-high 22 points in the win, while Barber poured in 20 points for Emmaus and Harris added 15.
Barber came out of the game in the final minute needing four points to reach 1,000 for his career.
The plan was for the senior to reach the milestone Friday during a home game against Pocono Mountain East, but a winter storm caused the postponement of that game as Emmaus played just one game last week.
Heading into this week Emmaus is 9-3 overall and 6-2 in the EPC games.
“I like where we’re at mentally,” said Yoder. “I like where we’re at physically. We’ve been blessed to stay healthy.”
With 10 regular season games on the schedule, the Hornets are 9-3 and on top of the District 11 Class 6A rankings, followed closely by Northampton (10-3), Parkland (10-3), Liberty (10-4) and Nazareth (11-4).
Emmaus is 6-2 in the EPC and tied with Central Catholic for second place in the West Division, two games behind division leader Parkland (8-0).