Girls fall to defending state champion Hawks
The basketball season opened Saturday for Parkland with a tough opponent in Central Dauphin. After falling to the Lady Rams 50-35, things didn’t get any easier for the Lady Trojans when they opened Eastern Pennsylvania Conference play against defending state champion Bethlehem Catholic.
The game against Beca remained close throughout the first half, but the Lady Hawks went on an impressive run in the third quarter. What was a three-point lead at the half turned into a 17-point margin en route to a 57-43 Bethlehem Catholic win.
“There was no one thing, it was kind of a combination of things,” said Parkland head coach Wes Spence about the second-half stumble. “We turned the ball over, which allowed them to get out in transition and do some things. I thought in the first half we did a decent job of making their opportunities difficult and contested and made them take the kind of shots that we wanted to take. In the third quarter, they were able to get more of the shots that they wanted to take, whether it was layups driving to the rim or being able to kick out to shooters for step-in threes and they knocked them down to their credit.
“And then we also didn’t make shots, and that’s something where we have to get better and be sure that we’re getting the shots that we want and finding the places where we can get the shots that we want. Both of those things are correctable.”
Parkland (0-1 EPC, 0-2 overall) was led by Claire Courter, who had 15 points in the game, and got double-digit scoring from Shelby Staib, who finished with 10 points.
Bethlehem Catholic’s Taliyah Medina led all scorers with 19 and the Hawks got 11 points each from Natalie Rhine and Morgan Orloski.
Staib, a junior, was Parkland’s leading scorer with 15 points in the loss to Central Dauphin on Saturday.
The two teams battled early in Tuesday’s game, with Parkland tying the score at 6-6 on a pair of free throws from Lindsay Berger, but a minute later, Beca (1-0, 2-0) reclaimed the lead when Orloski drove to the basket and made it 8-6. Throughout the second quarter, the script had Beca pull away only to have the Lady Trojans catch up and even tie the game with 2:12 left in the half on a three-pointer from Courter, who had two buckets from beyond the arc in the game. Beca took a 27-24 lead into the locker room at the break.
“They’re a good basketball team and you have to give them credit,” said Spence. “I thought our girls fought really hard and did a really nice job. Again, give them credit. There were times when we had a chance to make a shot and take the lead and we missed and then they had the same shot to put their team up and they knocked it down, so you have to tip your hat to them. We shot well with them in the first half and in the second half, they continued to shoot well and we went cold, so that’s the way it goes.”
Parkland returns to the court Friday when it travels to Stroudsburg. The 0-2 start is the first time under Spence that the team has opened the season with two losses.
“We want to play good competition, period,” said Spence. “That’s the goal early on and I think these first two games have shown us where our strengths are, where we need to improve and put us in positions to be challenged right away.
“Sometimes, you get through three or four games and still not have a good idea of who you are against good competition. We got two really good looks right away as to who we are and what we need to do.”