Parkland Press

Monday, December 18, 2017
PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBJake Bartholomew (32) and the Parkland boys basketball team must make up for the grduation of the program’s all-time leading scorer. Copyright - DON HERB PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBJake Bartholomew (32) and the Parkland boys basketball team must make up for the grduation of the program’s all-time leading scorer. Copyright - DON HERB

Boys basketball must replace scorers

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by CJ HEMERLY Special to the Press in Sports

During the 2016-17 season, the Parkland boys basketball team relied heavily on its experienced post players.

With senior forward Sam Iorio, the school’s all-time leading scorer, along with starters Michael Zeky and Zach Bross, the Trojans could use their size to their advantage a majority of the time last season.

But looking at 2017-18, head coach Andy Stephens will see his leadership and experience featured more in the backcourt.

“We need to find a way to make up for the scoring losses from last year’s team,” said Stephens. “Hopefully our height and defense can generate some points for us.”

Last year, the Trojans finished 17-10 overall, qualified for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference playoffs, played in their sixth straight District 11 championship game, and advanced to the PIAA state tournament for the sixth straight seasons.

Stephens and his staff will be leaning on returning seniors Jake Bartholomew and Michael Ruisch and junior Logan Rindock to pick up the scoring load and set up the offensive and defensive sets.

Newcomers Ian Dashukewich, Adam Klinger, Zach Stendell, Jared Kucharczuk, Kiaeem Comegys, AC Kelly, Luke Rompilla, Drew Johannes and Gabe Khalife may not have a ton of varsity experience, but were successful on the JV level last season and garnered valuable experience over the summer.

“This is a very coachable group that has a great work ethic,” Stephens said. “They’re in the gym nonstop and want to get better. I think the key will be how quickly they gel and form a team chemistry. We want to improve throughout the year and compete for championships.”

Parkland, which won four straight district titles from 2013-16 opens up this year’s regular season in the Notre Dame (Green Pond) Tip Off Tournament on Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9. The Trojans begin the EPC portion of their schedule Tuesday, Dec. 12 at home against reigning District 11 Class 4A champ Bethlehem Catholic.