PHS wins Allen Tournament
Parkland boys basketball senior Gabe Khalife has been a Swiss army knife when it comes to his role with the basketball program. He has started, come off the bench, played as a defensive stopper and has been a top scorer.
Last Friday night, Khalife was the main man in helping to lead the Trojans to a 58-54 win in the Allen High School Holiday Classic championship game at Sewards Gymnasium to give them some momentum heading into the new year.
“It’s a big confidence-boosting win for us,” said Khalife, whose Trojans (6-4 overall) had been playing close to .500 ball in the first month of the 2018-19 regular season. “We really wanted this one. It was a championship game against a really good team. We wanted to go into the new year with a win.”
Khalife came in off the bench to lead Parkland with 21 points. He also tallied eight rebounds. He did most of his damage in the second and fourth quarters, tallying 12 of his points in the second and seven in the fourth.
“It doesn’t matter to me if I start or am a spark off the bench, as long as our team wins,” Khalife said. “I’ve done both this season so I have no problem with how I contribute as long as we win.”
In addition to his scoring, Khalife has a tenacity on the defensive end of the floor that helps his team. He came up with a steal, followed by a two-handed dunk on the other end in a key sequence that pushed the Trojans’ slim lead to a more comfortable 54-49 with 1:30 remaining in the game.
“We know that we can’t always outscore the other team,” said Khalife. “If you play good defense and play hard, good things will come to you offensively.
“During the timeout, our coaches were talking about us getting a big stop. If we did get a big stop, they were going to have to foul us. It just so happened that we got a run-out. That was even better. It was a big momentum shift for us.”
Trey Rolle scored 15 points and Jake Melady added eight points, nine rebounds and three assists. Logan Rindock chipped in with six points for the Trojans.
Parkland fell behind 12-9 after the opening stanza, but Khalife helped bring life into his team as it tied the score at 27-27 at halftime. In a close game throughout, the Trojans led 40-37 heading into the final quarter.
It was back-and-forth for most of that quarter until Khalife came up with the defensive play of the game for Parkland.
The Trojans defeated Springfield 60-30 in the semifinal game the night before behind 20 points from Melady.
Parkland returns to Eastern Pennsylvania Conference play Thursday at Easton followed by a road game at Pocono Mountain East on Saturday.