Iorio, Stout get hot on cold night
On a blustery Tuesday night in a somewhat empty gym, the Parkland and Freedom boys basketball teams shooting was nearly as cold as the weather outside the gym.
The Trojans shot 38 percent from the field, but overcame a 20-for-53 effort with a couple of big plays, and defense in taking down the Patriots last Tuesday night 61-45 at Freedom High School.
“I think a big factor in our poor start was that we haven’t played an away game in about two or three weeks, so that sometimes takes it out of you,” said Kyle Stout. “Coach [Andy Stephens] got us here a little early tonight so we could adjust and get prepared. We had to bring energy tonight because it was a small crowd and we usually can feed off of that.”
Stout fed off some of his teammates cold nights, as they looked for him more often. The senior guard tallied 18 points and 10 rebounds. Stout scored 15 of his 18 in the first half.
While he kept the offense rolling along over the first two quarters, junior forward Sam Iorio picked up Parkland’s offense in the second half. Iorio tallied 13 of his game-high 19 points over the final two quarters, including two dunks that seemed to put a spark into the dull gymnasium.
“Those were two big plays for us,” Stout said. “They seemed to give us some life and some momentum when the game was close. We used those to our advantage.”
Parkland (10-3 overall, 8-1 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference) opened up a 14-2 lead in the first five minutes, but Freedom fought back to get to within eight after one.
With the score at 16-10 and the Patriots finding some momentum, Iorio took a pass from Devante Cross and slammed one home on a Freedom player that got the bench to their feet.
From there, the Trojans outscored the Patriots 13-7 to take a 29-17 lead at halftime.
“Sam gave us a lot of energy tonight,” said Stout. “He hit a lot of big shots and made a lot of plays for us that we really needed.”
In the second half, Iorio and Kenny Yeboah (11 points, 6 rebounds), worked high-lows to perfection with Iorio hitting a couple of 3-pointers and Yeboah scoring down low in that post.
But what the Trojans pride themselves on most is their defense, and once again they stepped up on that other end of the floor to hold Freedom to 30 percent shooting (15-for-50) from the floor.
“I think we played well defensively most of the game,” said Stout. “They weren’t hitting many jump shots. I think it’s been a real key area of focus for us this season. It’s showing in these games with us only allowing less than 10 points in quarters.”
Two of the four quarters, the Patriots scored eight and nine points.
Parkland is back on the court Thursday against Dieruff and Saturday night at Nazareth.