Girls win ninth straight game
The Parkland Lady Trojans have been working their way through a demanding schedule with a lot of success. Last Friday, Parkland stretched its win streak to nine games with a 46-25 win over Freedom, but had to come back for their fourth game in five days the next night and lost to a tough Berks Catholic team to end the streak.
Bad weather has made local schedules hectic and Parkland knows that all too well. The most recent snow wiped out a game at Bethlehem Catholic which was bumped to next week, giving the Lady Trojans quite a gauntlet to run through.
Tuesday night, the stretch opens against Central Catholic (13-1, 6-1) and continues with Beca (12-0, 7-0) on Wednesday night. With one off-day, Parkland then faces division rival Nazareth (10-3, 4-2) on Friday and on Saturday plays Cumberland Valley, who is ranked as the top Class AAAA team in Pennsylvania.
"As much as the girls like to play and be on the court, you could see that their legs were starting to go on Saturday," said Parkland head coach Wes Spence. "The schedule is starting to wear on them a little, so while having Bethlehem Catholic next week makes for another very tough stretch, it might be good to have a couple days here to practice. That could be a positive."
Perhaps one reason that Parkland has done so well even with the crazy scheduling is that Spence is able to mix and match his players and hasn't had to overwhelm any of his players with playing time. Instead, pretty much every girl on the roster sees some time on the court and different girls tend to step up at different times.
"For a coach, that's fantastic," said Spence. "I don't think that we've ever had a girl average more than about 12 points a game since I've been here. That's not because they weren't capable, but because of the way that we play.
"We don't rely on any one or two girls to give us points and we don't play through one girl. That helps to take the pressure off of our leaders."
In recent wins over Emmaus and Freedom, it was Erica Bross who led the Parkland scorers with 10 points and nine points, respectively. Against Easton, it was Nadine Ewald, who led the way with 12 points.
Parkland is 8-0 in the Lehigh Valley Conference and has a commanding lead in the North Division and at 11-4 overall. The Trojans have already qualified for districts.
"The girls have done a fantastic job," Spence said. "At one point, we played eight games in 10 days and they continued to work hard in each game even though they had to be tired.
"Next week's schedule is tough, but we're not focused on that. We're focused on just playing hard and continuing to do what we've done that has worked for us. We can't control what's gone on with the schedule, so we just control how we play."
With Tuesday night's postponement, Parkland will have five days off before playing at Allen Friday night and then has three days off to prepare for its next run of four games in five days that starts at home Tuesday night against the Vikettes.