PHS reaches tourney quarterfinals
The previously dubbed Sportsfest basketball tournament, which now goes by the name of A-town Throwdown tournament, has been kind to the Parkland boys basketball program recently. Within the past decade, the Trojans have celebrated multiple tournament titles on the macadam courts of Cedar Beach in Allentown.
To make it through a weekend of multiple games a day in the heat, and sometimes not having key players because of other commitments, it can be difficult to record wins against a quality field each year.
The goal for the Trojans is always to advance and qualify for the Sunday playoff format after the four-team pool play. Parkland reached the single-elimination playoffs Sunday and won one game before bowing out to eventual runners-up Emmaus in the quarterfinal round.
“Our goal every summer is always to get to Sunday,” said summer head coach Eddie Ohlsen. “So I thought overall it was a successful weekend. We played well in the group against some tough teams, and then came out this morning (Sunday) and won a playoff game. I’m pleased with the overall effort.”
Parkland may have been in one of the toughest pools, which included Roberto Clemente, Abington and Susquehanna. Abington features a Villanova recruit, and Susquehanna is a regular in the state tournament.
“We didn’t mind it,” Ohlsen said of the bracket. “The summer is about getting better and gelling as a team. And playing against competition like that is only going to help us.”
During the first night of action on Thursday, Parkland defeated Roberto Clemente 52-38. Nick Rappa led the team with 14 points.
The Trojans then had Friday off and resumed group play on Saturday.
Parkland had its playoff hopes take a hit early on Saturday, falling to Abington 45-44. It bounced back for an important 40-36 win against Susquehanna, led by 13 points from Logan Rindock. The win allowed the Trojans to advance from pool play into the single-elimination rounds.
The close games continued on Sunday. In the first round of the playoffs, Parkland took down Bishop McDevitt 47-46 thanks to a game-winning three-pointer by Jared Kucharczuk, who finished with seven points. Jake Melady tallied a team-high 10.
The run came to an end in the quarterfinals. The Hornets, who played in the championship game of the Cedar Beach Bash at the Beach two weeks ago, have had a successful summer. They beat the Trojans 47-22 Sunday. Rindock and Kucharczuk each had eight points for Parkland, which will now look at a summer league championship.
“I thought that with the two summer tournaments over, that we are in a good place,” said Ohlsen. “At the beginning of the summer with summer league, we weren’t really sure of our identity. But the guys know how to win games now and are understanding how to play with each other and it’s a good place to be at.”
Emmaus lost to Philadelphia-are team Sofanko in the tournament title game.