Boys fall to Kids in D-11 quarterfinals
Trading wins during their two regular season games, the rubber match between the Parkland and Northampton boys basketball teams had more on the line. With a spot in the District 11 Class 6A final four and berth in the PIAA state tournament at stake, it was the hot outside shooting of the Konkrete Kids that proved too much for the Trojans to overcome last Saturday afternoon in the district quarterfinals at Allen High School’s Sewards gymnasium.
The third seed Northampton relied on a three-point barrage to take down sixth seed Parkland 74-65.
The two teams had played in the regular season finale back on February 8, with the Trojans (12-12 overall) winning 48-47. The month before, in their first meeting, the Kids (17-7) were victorious 71-64.
“We knew coming in that this was going to be tightly contested,” said head coach Andy Stephens. “When we played them during the regular season, both games were close, and in the postseason that wasn’t going to change.”
Northampton connected on eight first half three-pointers and 13 total in the game, and was fueled by a game-high 27 points from Aidan Ellwood and 20 from Cory Weisenberger.
“They really got out on us early, hitting all of those threes to put us in a hole early,” Stephens said. “When a team shoots like that, they are going to be tough to beat. I thought that we played good defense, they just did a really good job of hitting their shots. There’s not a lot else that you can do.”
Northampton took a comfortable 33-21 lead into the halftime locker rooms. But Parkland came out in the second half and went on a 17-4 run to cut the Kids’ lead to 42-38 after a free throw by junior Logan Rindock (eight points) 3:01 left in the quarter. Senior Jake Bartholomew scored 15 of his 26 points in the second half to help spark Parkland.
But, in a game of runs, Northampton made another one. It went on a13-3 streak, scoring seven of the last 10 points of the third quarter and the first six of the fourth to reclaim control of the game.
Jacob Melady tallied 11 points for Parkland. Jared Kucharczuk had 10 and Michael Ruisch finished with six points for the Trojans, who will not be playing in the district championship game for the first time in six year.
“There were times at the beginning and middle of the year that I didn’t think we would even qualify for the postseason,” said Stephens. “So for us to continue to battle and play in the conference and district tournaments is a testament to the kids wanting to keep the tradition going.”