Parkland Press

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PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBParkland’s Gabe Khalife tries to hold off a Bethlehem Catholic defender in the waning minutes of Tuesday’s game. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBParkland’s Gabe Khalife tries to hold off a Bethlehem Catholic defender in the waning minutes of Tuesday’s game. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_

Hot-shooting Becahi cruises past Parkland

Friday, December 15, 2017 by CJ HEMERLY Special to the Press in Sports

The game plan that head coach Andy Stephens and his Parkland boys basketball coaching staff put together before its game against Bethlehem Catholic was to play some zone, and even when it didn’t, focus the press on the Golden Hawks’ two big men in brothers Ryan and Kyle Young.

Senior Ryan Young stands at 6-foot-10 and is committed to Northwestern University. Junior Kyle Young is just as much a force in the paint, measuring at 6-foot-7.

The Trojans (2-1 overall, 0-1 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference) did a good job containing the pair, but it was the outside shooting of Becahi (2-0, 1-0) that gave Parkland fits all night in a 74-54 loss last Tuesday night at Parkland High School.

It was the first loss of the season for the Trojans after winning their first two against Freedom and Notre Dame (Green Pond) in the Crusaders’ Tip Off Tournament last weekend.

“If Becahi can shoot like tonight all season, they are going to be tough to beat,” Stephens said of the Hawks, who knocked down 10 three-pointers compared to Parkland’s five. “They have really talented big men in the Youngs, so we wanted to stop them first. But the way they shot the ball just makes them even tougher to beat.”

Four different Becahi players made at least one three-point shot in the game, including six from Deandre Gardner (18 points).

The Trojans found themselves in a hole early on, trailing 21-8 after the first quarter. The Golden Hawks forced 11 first-half turnovers and knocked down shots at a rampant pace. Even if shots did not fall, the Young’s were there for the rebound and put-back.

“They have all of the pieces this year,” said Stephens. “Even the players that you didn’t expect a whole lot from contributed tonight. They played great and it seemed that everything they shot went in.”

The Trojans battled in the second quarter and would not go down without a fight, the Hawks still had a 44-24 lead at halftime.

“I looked at it one point in the first half and thought if we could get this to 10 heading into halftime, we’d have a good chance,” Stephens said. “But it just didn’t happen, all night. We didn’t shoot well. We made poor decisions. And if you turn the ball over like we did against a team like that, you’re not going to have a chance.”

Gardner led all scorers with 18 points, followed by Justin Paz with 15 and Ryan Young with 12 points, 10 rebounds and one block.

Junior Logan Rindock led Parkland with 14 points. Senior Jake Bartholomew and junior Gabe Khalife each had seven points, and senior A.C. Kelly tallied six.

Parkland takes on Stroudsburg in Friday night at 7 p.m. at Parkland High School.