Trojans off to slow start in summer basketball
Summer basketball is about adjusting a system to new players and developing for the upcoming winter season. There hasn’t been a more important summer in recent years than this one for the Parkland boys basketball program, which graduated three starting seniors including Zach Bross, Michael Zeky and the school’s all-time leading scorer Sam Iorio, who was a four-year starter.
The Trojans have struggled thus far in the Allentown Summer League at Cedar Beach. They lost their first three games while acclimating new players into the lineup. With three forwards graduating, they have focused more on guard play with returning players Jake Bartholomew, Logan Rindock and Michael Ruisch.
The young and inexperienced Trojans are still learning to mesh together, and that showed again last Thursday night in a 47-30 loss at the hands of Reading.
“Probably for about three or for more games it’s just going to be a feel-out process,” said head coach Andy Stephens. “We have about 18-20 guys on the [summer league] roster and we’re playing everybody to see what we’ve got. It makes it difficult to get into any rhythm with playing so many guys. Hopefully we can find our niche and get a little more comfortable here in the summer. That’s what makes this fun, seeing guys take the opportunity in front of them.”
Rindock, Ruisch and Bartholomew are going to be looked upon to contribute this season.
Rindock had all seven of his points in the first half. Ruisch tallied six, and Bartholomew finished with five. But Reading was just too quick and used its athleticism to its advantage.
Parkland was ahead 18-17 at halftime, and after a couple of minutes of back-and-forth scoring early in the second half trailed 29-27 midway through the second half.
From that point the Red Knights went on an 11-0 run to seize control of the game.
Parkland’s new varsity players have been around the program and have seen the recent success that Parkland has had in recent years.
“You want to set your expectations high every year,” Stephens said. “I think we’re accustomed to doing that with the teams that we’ve had recently. We never take each year like it’s a rebuilding year because we have some talent again this year to compete. It’s just going to take some time this summer, and that’s what this season is for.”