Piston’s foul shooting helps girls to victory
Parkland got off to a fast start against Allen Monday night and never looked back, downing the Lady Canaries 66-42. Emily Piston scored 16 and Kassidy Stout scored 12 to pace the Trojans. Allen’s Taylor Rae Styles led all scorers with 19 points.
Parkland hit on 21-of-29 fouls shots in the game, including Piston making all six foul shots that were awarded on three technical fouls called on Allen. Canaries coach Stan Broyles was ejected after being hit with two technicals within 18 seconds of each other in the third quarter.
The Allen bench was then given another technical less than a minute later.
Not only did Piston provide an offensive spark, but she was also heralded by her coach for doing all of the little things that don’t show up in statistics.
“Emily does a lot of stuff that if you’re not at the game, you don’t necessarily know about because it’s not in the box score and it’s not written about,” said Parkland head coach Wes Spence. “Just her hustle and how she plays defense and her willingness to give up the ball to other players who might have a hot hand that night all contribute to our success, but you don’t always know about them.
“She kind of epitomizes that team-first approach that we stress.”
The Lady Trojans were able to get Allen in some quick foul trouble that resulted in Asha Talib and Jatyana Hiller spending more time on the bench than normal. Talib fouled out with 2:41 left in the game, while Hiller finished with four fouls in the game, and wasn’t able to be as aggressive as normal throughout the game.
“I thought we did a lot of things well tonight,” said Spence. “There were some miscues here and there and we made some mistakes late in the game with younger players on the floor, but that’s OK, because they’ll learn from those things.”
Parkland has qualified for both the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11 playoffs, even in a season where many thought the Trojans might be in a bit of a rebuilding mode with a young roster. Piston was one of the early believers that the younger players would be able to step up for Parkland and contribute.
Piston, who is likely headed to the University of Pittsburgh to major in accounting, believes that the team is in good shape as it prepares for the postseason and a likely meeting with Northampton in the first round of the EPC playoffs just two days after closing out the season against the Konkrete Kids Wednesday in a game that was played after Press deadlines.
“Julia [Buchman] and Kassidy [Stout] have done a great job just moving into the positions that were held by seniors last year,” said Piston. “And then Rachel [Medlar] and Devyn [Anderson] contribute in a lot of ways, so it’s played out pretty much how I thought that it would. The younger players coming off of the bench have really done a nice job, too, so everything has come together well.”
Both Piston and Spence believe the team is well prepared for the postseason and that tough nonconference games have prepared them well for the competition that they’ll see in the playoffs.
“We like to challenge our players,” said Spence. “If you’re going to be a good team, you have to play tough teams and put yourself in spots where you’re being challenged and we’ve been able to do that. It also helps that we’re finishing the year against good teams like Allen (14-7, 9-6) and Northampton (11-4, 15-6), because it gets us ready for the types of teams we’ll face coming up.”
Piston agrees that the difficult late-season schedule can only help the young team.
“You have to have those tough games to kind of set the tone for the team and be ready for the good teams that you’re going to face in the postseason, whether it’s in the EPC or districts or especially states,” said Piston. “We’ve been through tough games, so we know what to expect.”