Ewald basket beats Central
Coming out of a timeout down 46-45 with roughly a minute remaining, the play wasn’t necessarily set for Parkland’s Nadine Ewald. But when the Lady Trojans had an opportunity to feed it inside to their top player, they weren’t going to shy away from it.
Emily Piston set up Ewald on the left block, and after a move into the paint, Ewald gave the Trojans a one-point lead with 39 seconds to play in a fourth quarter that saw Central Catholic lead up until that bucket.
Neila Luma got a rebound and put back in the waning moments, but it came after the final whistle had sounded. Parkland’s duo of Ewald and Devyn Anderson each scored 13 points in leading the Lady Trojans to a 47-46 victory at Rockne Hall, continuing their hot start to the season.
“We weren’t trying to get it to me, but it just happened to be there,” Ewald said. “When my teammate Sarah Staagard screened for me, I just happened to be open. My other teammate, Emily Piston, saw I was opened and passed me the ball.”
“It was definitely an option,” head coach Wes Spence said. “We drew it up as a sequence. We had an option A, B and C, and we were fortunate that an option for a layup was there for us.”
In terms of Eastern Pennsylvania Conference action where Parkland is a perfect 5-0 (8-1 overall), that meeting with Central Catholic last week was their toughest conference game yet. And being able to defeat one of the league’s top teams on its home court is a huge step for the Lady Trojans.
“Any time you come to Central and walk out of Rockne Hall with a win, that’s a good accomplishment,” Spence said. “They’re a very good basketball team. They’re going to continue to get better as a basketball team.
“And to do it in the circumstances that we did—coming from behind, in a hostile environment, with a big crowd there—I think it says a lot about our kids.”
“Central was at the top of our list to beat this year,” Ewald said. “It was a little bit rocky at some points, but we came out and played good defense towards the end and got the win.”
While defense was the key down the stretch, it was an offensive spurt in the opening quarter that set the tone that Parkland was up for whatever challenge Rockne’s confines would bring. The Lady Trojans ran out to a quick 13-4 lead to open the game.
But with foul trouble to Ewald in the early going, Spence was forced to send her to the bench for a good chunk of the second quarter. Insert Anderson, who scored seven of her game-high 13 in that period to keep the Lady Trojans ahead heading into halftime at 26-24 with a number of pivotal field goals.
“We’ve always preached about being a team that takes advantage of whatever our opponents will give to us,” Spence said. “Tonight, Devyn was able to find some opportunities getting to the basket. She did a great job finishing around the rim and being aggressive and taking advantage of what they gave her.”
Central Catholic, which took the lead on two different occasions in that second quarter, led by four points on a Kate Amer 3-pointer 3:20 into the second half. The Vikettes led 39-35 going into the fourth.
But as the Vikettes seemed to be mustering up a game-changing run, the Lady Trojans had an answer. Ewald scored back-to-back buckets to open the final quarter, and Rachel Medlar scored five of her eight points in the final eight minutes, none bigger than a 3-pointer that brought Parkland to within a point with 1:08 to play.
“We know that they’re a good team and they were going to come back,” Spence said. “But it is nice to maybe put a little bit of pressure on them and make them play from behind.”