Emerson HS

JANUARY 9, 2016

EMERSON – Finally, Danny Auriemma and his fellow Emerson starters experienced the pleasure of heading to the bench in the fourth quarter with a big lead and receiving a round of applause from the home crowd.

“That was the first time I was taken out of a game early for being up by large numbers instead of down by large numbers,” the senior forward said.

Auriemma and Emerson defeated Wallington, 69-40, Friday night in NJIC boys basketball for their sixth win of the season, a breakthrough number because the program only won five games each of the previous two campaigns.

Emerson (6-2) has been among North Jersey’s biggest early-season surprises, tied for first in the NJIC Patriot Division after finishing last among the nine teams a year ago.

John Ziemba, in his second season as coach after a long stint at Fort Lee, credits having a full year working together with the Cavos as the reason for the team’s turnaround from last season’s 5-21 record.

“I think it’s a combination of them getting to know me and trusting me,” said Ziemba, who has more than 300 career wins, “and me getting to trust them.”