Boys bounce back to beat Whitehall
The Parkland boys basketball team had a whirlwind of emotions on totally different levels between its last two games. In last Friday night’s game against Whitehall, the Trojans trailed the entire game up until the fourth quarter when they made a comeback to defeat the Zephyrs 51-46.
Three nights later, Parkland led after each quarter leading up to the fourth, but gave up its lead and dropped the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference home game versus Allen 60-52.
“Yeah it was really a tale of two games,” said head coach Andy Stephens. “There were some good things and some bad things we did both games; I’m proud of the way they bounced back and completed the comeback against Whitehall, but I thought we really could have done a much better job of finishing the game against Allen. It was disappointing giving up the lead we had.”
While the loss to the Canaries hurts, it came after an all-important victory over Whitehall. That win helped solidify and clinch Parkland’s spot in the EPC tournament, which begins this weekend, and the District 11 6A tournament.
Parkland (11-9 overall, 8-6 EPC) has seen share of ups and downs this season, and that didn’t change with these last two games.
“I’m proud of the guys for getting back to districts,” Stephens said. “That’s where we want to be each year. This year is one of those years where it is up for grabs. There are a lot of good teams, and we know we can compete with all of them. I just want to see them compete and play to win.
“It’s good for the younger guys to get this postseason experience, and it’s good for the seniors to be able to leave their mark on the program and help this team achieve another postseason berth.”
Last Monday against Allen, the Trojans held a 38-33 lead after three quarters, but the Canaries made a fourth-quarter run and were able to come out with the win.
“We had some turnovers that really hurt us,” said Stephens. “We need to be able to keep leads when we have them. When they started making a run, we had to go to man-to-man on defense, and that’s exactly what they want because they’re so athletic and can take their man to the hoop. Give them credit, they made their free throws, and we didn’t capitalize on some things we should have. It’s a learning experience.”
The opposite scenario happened versus Whitehall last Friday. Parkland trailed 36-32 after the third quarter, but outscored the Zephyrs 19-10 in the fourth to complete the comeback.
“We knew coming in that they were dangerous because they beat us earlier this year,” Stephens said. “You never want to be down, but when Whitehall got ahead, I knew our guys were just down by 18 against Nazareth earlier in the week, so they weren’t going to panic. And they didn’t.”
Parkland has its final game of the regular season tonight against Northampton before playing in the quarterfinals of the EPC tournament Saturday.