Iorio leading charge as playoffs near
Rising senior Sam Iorio walked off the court last Wednesday in the final minutes after being subbed out. Parkland was already well out in front of Emmaus when the Trojans’ leader exited.
That’s been a familiar scene for Parkland this summer.
The Trojans beat Emmaus 65-37 last week at Parkland High School. Iorio scored 15 while Jake Bartholomew added a team-high 16 points in the rare Wednesday summer league game that was a make up date for a previously postponed contest.
“We only have one loss, so that has to say something in itself,” Iorio said. “We’re missing a starter here tonight who really brings a physical presence to us. I think we played well without him. Everyone knows we have to step up now because this isn’t last year’s team.”
Parkland dropped its meeting with Allen the next day with Iorio was missing for that game.
The missing piece absent against Emmaus was Zach Bross, one of a handful of Trojans that saw significant varsity time this past winter. Many of those regular varsity players from last spring have graduated.
But despite playing without Bross in the frontcourt, there was no problem for Parkland in having its way with Emmaus. And it started and ended with Iorio, the lone returning starter from last year’s team.
The Trojans’ lead grew to 19-6 early after Iorio recorded a rebound and putback in the post, and that increased to 32-10 when the senior swished a step-back jumper from the left side of the court.
“Having all of those guys around all of those years, it’s like a new season now,” Iorio said. “Instead of coming back and picking up where we left off, we’re starting totally fresh. People come and go, and I think we’re working well without them.”
Iorio and the Trojans (8-2) took a 34-13 lead at halftime, and quickly ballooned that to 47-22 when he crossed over an Emmaus defender and connected on a step-back jumper midway through the second half. Emmaus would never get within double digits the rest of the way.
After graduating four starters from the winter season, new faces will be relied on to step up in the upcoming months. Bartholomew, who scored 10 of his 16 in the second half, figures to be a main piece in that rotation. Michael Zeky, who matched Iorio’s total with 15 points, also returns with significant varsity time last year.
Iorio, who’s been a regular varsity player since his freshman year, is the unquestioned leader of this group. He’s been receiving advice not just from his coaching staff, but also from his two trainers that have helped expand his basketball knowledge and strength in the weight room.
“I just listen to them; they give me positive feedback,” Iorio said. “I’m just getting ready for July, my last recruiting period. Hopefully I make a decision sometime soon.”