Lady Trojans take second place
The Parkland girls basketball team has had a lot of success at the annual Stellar Catch A Rising Star tournament at Cedar Beach, reaching the final three out of the last four years. This year, the Trojans came up through the elimination bracket before falling to Northwestern 20-17 in the championship game last weekend.
"The kids played five games today, they did awesome," said head coach Wes Spence. "It's hot out, and it would've been easy for them to quit. We had games where we looked really good, and games where we didn't, but the girls battled and stayed with it the whole way through. It's a tough grind and I'm just really happy with their effort."
Spence is fielding nearly a whole new team, with his starting five graduated from last season's Lehigh Valley Conference runner-up and PIAA state qualifier.
"The kids are doing a nice job," said Spence. "And that is the transition. We have no starters returning so it's tough. You have girls who were role players last year and are now being asked to be leaders. I think they're doing a nice job because a lot of them are young players. We're going to have some growing pains, but I'm really happy with the effort."
The Trojans knocked off LVC rival Emmaus on the opening night of the Stellar Tournament by using a late run to pull out a 36-28 win. Olivia Brown and Erica Bross, who were both key reserves last year and are starters this year, tallied nine and seven points respectively.
On Friday night the Trojans defeated Boyertown's B team, 33-17, but suffered their first loss the next day at the hands of Freedom, 25-24 in overtime.
That didn't deter this team, as it went on to win four straight on Sunday in the heat. After holding off Dieruff 39-37, the Lady Trojans got revenge against a Nazareth team that beat them in both the LVC and District 11 playoffs last season.
A second win over Boyertown's B team led to a semifinal matchup against Colonial League powerhouse Southern Lehigh. Brynn Brouse led the way with 10 points as the Trojans advanced to the final with a 48-19 thumping over the Spartans.
The championship game was an offensive struggle. Northwestern held on for the 20-17 win. Sarah Stagaard scored eight points in the loss.
Parkland will now look to keep it rolling in the Sportsfest tournament this weekend at Cedar Beach.
Olivia Brown received All-Tournament honors at the Stellar Tournament.