Boys win Holiday Classic crown
Before the final of the Parkland Holiday Classic, Trojans head coach Andy Stephens handed his team shirts with the slogan "Be the teammate you want to play with."
This phrase could not be more accurate of the Trojans this season. Their seven-game winning streak has been in large part to teamwork and unselfish play.
Austin Beidelman tallied 17 points in an opening game win over Quakertown last Thursday, and the next night Justin Zajko led the team with 20, helping Parkland to beat Salisbury 60-52 in the final of the Parkland Holiday Classic.
Beidelman was named tournament MVP, but that trophy could have also been distributed to many members of that team.
The win gives the Trojans seven in a row since a season-opening loss to Freedom. Lehigh Valley Conference play starts up again this weekend.
"It helps us to know that we can beat those good teams," Nick Rindock said about the Salisbury win. "We want to pick this back up in league play and keep the momentum going. We have a seven game win streak, so we want to build on that."
Rindock, who is another scoring threat with Beidelman and Zajko, found himself in foul trouble most of the night. He scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, and the Trojans needed every point.
It looked as if it would be a blowout early on. Jimmy Hahn connected from long range twice in the first quarter, and Parkland led the Falcons 19-6 after one. The Trojans boosted that lead to as much as 22-6 in the second quarter before Salisbury raced back. The Falcons ended the second on an 11-2 run fueled by the inside play of Austin Uhl. Uhl held a couple of inches over Trojans bigs Zajko, Nick Selvaggi, Alex Mitton and Nate Case.
But once Zajko found himself marked on Uhl, he held the big junior man scoreless over the final 10-plus minutes.
"I think they were getting to many easy layups," said Zajko. "So we had to get better on defense, and it started with stopping their big guy (Uhl). We ran a trapping man, and doubled the ball as soon as it got to the man."
Two steals by the Falcons led to layups on the other end, and their first lead of the game with 2:53 remaining.
But Rindock and Zajko combined to go 11-fo-12 from the free throw line in the final quarter to ice the game.
Parkland welcomes Easton this Friday night.