The Emmaus Eagles men's basketball team soared to their two best performances of the season, as they wrapped up their 2019-20 home schedule this past week.
Riding a wave of support from a "blue-out" crowd, on Alumni Day and Senior Day at Pollard Fieldhouse, the Eagles came away with a hard fought 87-82 victory over NCCAA North Region rivals the Moody Archers (1-15) on Saturday, Feb.1.
The Eagles carried that momentum into their next game versus Faith Baptist (11-8), and played arguably their best game of the season in a high-paced, back-and-forth, 84-72 defeat on Tuesday, Feb. 4.
"This past week was really positive for our group. Our players have been coming together all semester, and we have been improving each day. So to see the results show up on the court is rewarding," shared interim head coach Chris McHugh.
The game versus Moody, saw the Archers take an early 14-7 lead over the first 5-minutes. From there, the Eagles would assert themselves through the rest of the first half, outscoring the Archers 37-21, to take a 44-35 lead into the locker room at halftime.
As the second half got under way, the Eagles would surge ahead and open a 21-point lead. The Archers would not go away however, and behind the scoring of Logan Linder (35 points) and Aaron Roser (23 points), Moody cut the lead to single digits. Emmaus would not relinquish that lead though, and ultimately sealed the victory with free throws from Austin Brammer.
Brammer contributed in all areas on the afternoon, finishing with 23 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Emmaus was also led by the sharp shooting of Brandon Redding, who recorded his second 40+ point performance of the season.
After the game, Emmaus honored seniors Cody Cunard and John Hertz, on a day when Emmaus fans turned out clad in blue and supported in full voice. "This was a great atmosphere today!" remarked McHugh. "Our Emmaus community really supports our teams, and today they got loud and really helped us finish this game."
The Eagles returned to the court three days later to take on Faith Baptist, and picked up where they left off on Saturday. Earning his first start of the season, Josh Davidson pulled down 9 rebounds and contributed 6 points to go along with outstanding defense, in a season-high 33-minutes played. That effort from Davidson, and double-digit point contributions from 4 players, gave Emmaus a 33-31 edge heading into halftime.
Both teams came out strong in the second half, and the Pollard crowd was loud and proud for a second game in a row. The Pollard faithful pushed Emmaus to keep battling until the final whistle, but Faith Baptist would pull away down the stretch, on the strength of a 32-point performance from Nathan Keck and a 1-3-1 defense that proved too much to overcome for the Eagles.
Emmaus now hits the road to finish the regular season. The Eagles travel to Moberly, MO to take on the CCCB Saints on Saturday, Feb. 8, and then head to Manhattan, KS for back-to-back games with Manhattan Christian and Barclay College on Feb. 14-15.