Girls fall to Nazareth in D-11 quarterfinals
The Nazareth Blue Eagles got off to a fast start against Parkland in the District 11 Class 6A quarterfinal game of districts and never looked back, beating the Lady Trojans 46-33. The loss ended the season for Parkland while Nazareth went on to beat top-seeded Easton 50-32 and will play Freedom in the District 11 Championship. The win also clinched a spot in the PIAA Tournament for Nazareth.
Just as her older sisters had done in the past, freshman Talya Brugler hit basket after basket on her way to scoring 15 points against Parkland, all while missing some time after she rolled her ankle early in the game.
It was the third time this season that Parkland fell to the Blue Eagles (17-8). Claire Courter scored nine points for the Trojans, while Julia Buchman, in her final high school game, scored eight points.
Parkland finished the season at 15-10, not a bad mark considering the Trojans had some definite holes to fill coming into the season. A team made up of mostly young players opened the season with tough games against Central Dauphin and Bethlehem Catholic and had a tough 1-2 trip to Florida playing some of the best high school teams in the country. From there though, Parkland came back and rattled off six straight wins.
With a couple of tough losses down the stretch, the Trojans again finished strong with a win in the regular season finale against Northampton that sent them into the EPC playoffs where they won their opener against Stroudsburg before being eliminated by Bethlehem Catholic.
“I never have to worry about getting hard work from these girls,” said Wes Spence. “They’re a tremendous group and they have done everything that we’ve asked of them throughout the year, so there was never a question of their work or dedication.”
The team will graduate two starters, Buchman and Keeley Coval, but younger players including freshman Lindsay Berger and sophomores Mia Coval and Ashley Fritzinger got playing time this season, which should help them to be ready to contribute even more next season.
As things stand now, Parkland will have seven seniors on next year’s roster, including Courter, Shelby Staib and Kassidy Stout who all saw significant minutes this season.
“It’s not going to be easy to replace Jules [Buchman] and Keeley, because they’ve been so good, but I think there’s going to be some competition for their spots because a number of the young players have stepped up for us throughout the season,” said Spence.