Shorthanded boys team falls in Sportsfest semi
Summer league basketball is not always kind to coaches, players or fans. With AAU, camps and vacations, sometimes numbers are scarce. That's what happened last weekend for the Parkland boys basketball team.
Missing Kyle Stout all weekend because of injury, and Kenny Yeboah to a football camp at Wake Forest University, the Trojans fell to Nazareth in the semifinals, and were unable to defend their SportsFest A-town Throwdown title.
After winning all three games in the group stage of the round-robin style format, the Trojans were squared up with an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference foe in the first round of single-elimination play on Sunday morning.
An unlikely source led the way in a 55-44 win against Easton. Will Baar tallied a team-high 12 points. The next game in the quarterfinals, Sam Iorio guided Parkland to a 52-38 victory over Quakertown with 19 points.
But in the next game, Nazareth upset the Trojans 34-22 and ended up winning the tournament championship by beating Central Catholic in the title game.
It was still another successful tournament weekend for Parkland, according to its head coach.
"I thought the weekend went well," said Andy Stephens. "Guys off the bench did a good job and competed for us. That's what I wanted to see."
The Blue Eagles finished last season at 13-13, but picked up two wins in the district tournament, and a couple of wins at Stellar last weekend.
Even playing without Stout and Yeboah, the Trojans just weren't the same on a hot and muggy Sunday afternoon.
"Nazareth played really well," said Stephens. "We were sluggish [with the heat] and didn't shoot the ball particularly well, but give Nazareth credit. They were the better team on Sunday."
One player that stepped up last weekend was rising senior Jack Dreisbach. He was rewarded for his play with a nod on the all-tournament team.
"Jack played terrific," said Stephens. "He does everything very well. I was particularly impressed with how well he rebounded the ball."
Stephens also credited the strength and conditioning work that his team has been doing with former Central Catholic and Penn State University football player Mike Cerimele.
"The guys have been working with Mike three times a week since May to get stronger and it's really starting to pay off," Stephens said. "That will be very important for us this upcoming season."
Parkland will now look to rebound with a Thursday night rematch against Nazareth in the summer league semifinals of the playoffs.