Trojans pull away from Kids in fourth
For most of their East Penn Conference contests this season, the Parkland boys basketball team has put away their opponents early on and held large leads by halftime which allowed head coach Andy Stephens to cruise through the final parts of the games.
But last Friday night against Northampton, the Trojans struggled to put away the Kids, before a fourth-quarter surge gave Parkland the 63-41 win on senior night at Parkland High School to remain undefeated in the East Penn Conference.
Leading only 45-40 early in the fourth quarter, the Trojans went on a 18-1 run over the final six minutes that was capped by an alley-oop finish by Kyle Stout.
"We really picked it up defensively," said Kevin Delourie. "We started grabbing loose balls and driving to the paint on offense to create easier shots."
Stout scored seven of his 10 points in the fourth quarter, and Sam Iorio tallied nine of his 16 in that quarter to lead Parkland. Besides two free-throws from Jack Dreisbach, Stout and Iorio did all of the scoring over the last eight minutes.
Those weren't the only contributions the Trojans received. The two seniors, Delourie (four points) and Justin Jones (15 points), made sure their names were called out on senior night.
"It was a really good night for us seniors," Delourie said. "I felt like a celebrity out there."
Jones had a career night from the field, going 5-for-6 from three-point land.
"We moved the ball around well offensively," said Jones. "Coach [Stephens] always tells us to use screens and move around to get open. I always seem to just stand around in one place, but when I moved around I was able to find my shot."
Parkland struggled from the field shooting at times. Stout and Jones each hit two threes in the first quarter, but Delourie's layup was the only other scoring. And in the third quarter, the Trojans netted only 13 points on 5-for-12 shooting.
But defense is an area the Trojans have always been strong at all season with their speed and athleticism to force any opponents into trouble.
"We picked up our intensity on defense and communicated more," said Jones. "First half we were quiet, but in the second it got better. They started throwing the ball away and we got some easy baskets because of it."
Thre Trojans are 17-0 overall with four games left.
They face Emmaus on Friday, Nazareth on Tuesday, Pocono Mountain West on Thursday, Feb. 5 and end the season at Whitehall on Friday, Feb. 6.
Parkland has a one-game lead over Liberty and a two-game over Emmaus and Stroudsburg for the top seed in the first EPC boys basketball playoff tournament, slated for the week of Feb. 10-13.