Parkland Press

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PRESS FILE PHOTOParkland’s Jared Kucharczuk brings the ball up the court during an early-season game. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ PRESS FILE PHOTOParkland’s Jared Kucharczuk brings the ball up the court during an early-season game. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_

Trojans bounce back, beat Zephs

Wednesday, January 2, 2019 by CJ HEMERLY Special to the Press in Sports

The Parkland boys basketball team had been playing the role of cardiac kids over the last two weeks, winning back-to-back games on game-winning shots as time expired to defeat both Central Catholic (56-53) and Phillipsburg (63-62) within 48 hours of each other.

But Parkland was on the other end of a close game last Tuesday, falling by three points to Northampton. It was the second East Penn Conference loss out of the Trojans’ first three games this season, leaving them in need of some league wins to keep pace in the competetive Skyland Division.

Parkland picked up one of those much-needed EPC wins Friday night as it led from start to finish in taking down rival Whitehall last 60-53 at Parkland High School in Eastern Pennsylvania Conference action.

“I thought that it was one of our more complete performances this season,” said head coach Andy Stephens. “We’ve had some games where we played well for 30 minutes but not the full 32.

“I thought that we gave it all we had [Friday] and executed the game plan for 32 minutes. It was a good win and an important one to have being a league and conference game right before the break.”

Jacob Melady had a breakout game for the Trojans (4-3 overall, 2-2 EPC), scoring a season-high 20 points, including draining 4-of-6 three-pointers. He led a group of six Parkland players that tallied at least five points, and was one of nine Trojan players that scored in the game.

“Jake had a great game,” Stephens said. “We needed him to step up and used all of his points tonight. We know he can score, now if he can be more consistent like this, our offense will be hard to stop.”

Melady had been forced to take the lion share of shots over the first quarter of the season due to last season’s leading scorer, Logan Rindock, missing a few games with an injury. Rindock is back and contributed six points against the Zephyrs (3-5, 1-3), who were coming off a win over Central Catholic and always play Parkland well.

“They’re a tough and scrappy team,” said Stephens. “They are well-coached and rebound the ball well. They always give us a good game and make us work on both ends of the court.”

Nick Rappa scored nine points and Trey Rolle netted eight. Dylan Rhoads, along with Rindock, tallied six points and Jared Kucharczuk recorded five for Parkland, who will now look to use this strong performance as it competes in the Allen High School Holiday Tournament this week, beginning with a matchup against Springfield-Delco Thursday evening.

“We’re getting there as a team,” Stephens said. “We’re starting to click. The kids are working hard.”