Girls basketball heads to state tournament
The Parkland girls basketball team were not donning gold like they wished to after wearing silver at the LVC tournament, but the Trojans, and their eight seniors, will be playing at least another week.
Senior Hannah Gombos scored 10 points as Parkland defeated Bangor 39-24 last Friday night at Easton Area Middle School in the 4A consolation round.
The win advances the Trojans (20-7) to the state tournament, which they will play this Friday night, for the first time since 2007, and first time under head coach Wes Spence. Parkland travels to Scranton High School to take on District 2 champ Wallenpaupack.
"Losing to Nazareth again definitely pushed us, and we really wanted to get into states," Gombos said. "It means a lot for us to get back there, and for the program to get back up to where it was."
Spence agreed and was happy for his team's success.
"I'm excited for them," Spence said. "It's good for me because this is the time of year where you hope all the good things the girls have worked for happen for them. They wanted to get to states. To see that happen, I'm excited they will have that experience."
Parkland started 0-for-2 from the field and trailed 1-0 early, but that would be the last time they were behind for the remainder of the game. Callie Krajcir hit the first basket of the game, and the Trojans were off and running.
Parkland may not be a high-scoring team, but defense keeps the girls in every game. The Trojans forced 22 turnovers, and 8-for-40 shooting from the Slaters.
The defensive effort helped open a double-digit lead in the second quarter, and never gave Bangor a chance at bringing it back under five.
"At halftime we talked about how there is 16 minutes left and our season could be over," said Gombos. "That was motivation for us to come out and play hard on both sides of the ball."
Parkland also held one of the Colonial League's top scorers, Morgan McCollian, to just six points.
"We wanted to pressure their guards and our post players did an excellent job of playing in front of and behind McCollian," said Spence. "It was a team effort on defense with all of the girls on the floor making her touches as difficult as possible."
The Trojans had nine girls reach the scorebook in a balanced team effort on the offensive side. Parkland will now set their eyes on a new challenge, and making a run in the PIAA state tournament beginning this Friday night.