Parkland tops Nazareth
When Parkland boys basketball fans last saw their team, the Trojans were playing in the PIAA tournament with a team that featured four seniors who were all returning starters from the previous season.
Head coach Andy Stephens is tasked with replacing those four and two other seniors who gave him minutes off the bench.
Last Thursday night at Cedar Beach park in the Stellar Summer League, one of those returning players stepped up and help lead Parkland (5-1 overall) to a 56-35 win over Nazareth.
Rising senior Michael Zeky scored 13 points, all in the second half, and classmate and three-year starter Sam Iorio added 19 points in the victory.
“We know coming into this year, starting in the summer, there is a lot of room for guys to step up because of what we lost last year,” Zeky said. “It’s big for guys like me and Sam [Iorio] because this is our last year. We just have to push ourselves and push the other guys, and just go out and take care of business.”
Zeky and Iorio were also a part of the boys volleyball team that just finished its season with a run to the state quarterfinals. They are adjusting back to the basketball scene.
Along with Zeky and Iorio, senior Matt Persichetti got the start. Rising junior Jake Bartholomew and sophomore Logan Rindock completed the starting five. Rindock had four points and Bartholomew contributed two.
“Last year we had five guys that could just take over a game at any time,” said Zeky. “This year we will have to get everyone involved and move the ball. It’s a balanced team.”
The Trojans looked to start breaking the game open late in the first half up 23-14, but the Blue Eagles scored six of the next eight points and trailed by just five at halftime.
Iorio had 16 of his game-high 19 in the first half, and in the second half, it was Zeky who put the ball in the basket for Parkland. His 13 points helped turn a five-point halftime lead into a double-digit lead after two 3-pointers from him and Tyler German for the first two baskets of the second half.
“We turned it up defensively,” Zeky said. “We were a little flat in the first half and had to get adjusted to the game. They hit some shots on us in the first half, but our intensity definitely picked up later in the game.”
The Trojans are off this week and will resume summer league play Tuesday against Dieruff at 6 p.m.