PHS girls beat Bears, Eagles
With a 45-37 overtime win against Nazareth Tuesday night, Parkland has now picked up big wins over teams it could see again in the postseason. The win over the Blue Eagles followed a convincing 55-40 win over Pleasant Valley last week. The win over Pleasant Valley was important for seeding both in the East Penn Conference and District 11 tournaments.
Against Pleasant Valley (10-4, 6-4), the two teams spent nearly the first minute of the game huddled around the Pleasant Valley basket with the Bears pulling down rebounds and putting up shots that wouldn’t fall. Six straight shots from close range bounced harmlessly off the rim until Parkland (11-4 overall, 8-3 EPC) finally wrestled away a rebound, came to the other end of the court and saw Lindsay Berger nail a jump shot to put Parkland up 2-0.
The Trojans scored eight more points before Pleasant Valley finally got a shot to fall. Parkland led 18-4 at the end of the first quarter. Parkland opened up a game-high 22-point lead late in the third quarter.
Kassidy Stout led all scorers with 16 points, followed closely by teammate Claire Courter, who hit for 15 in the game. Pleasant Valley shot just 16 percent from the floor, with Madison Rosenberg finishing with 10 points in the game.
The win over the Bears edged Parkland ahead of Pleasant Valley in the District 11 power rankings, which are used to determine seeding for the district tournament. The win over Nazareth (13-3, 10-2) helped to cement that spot. It also moved them within a game of Nazareth in the EPC Skyline Division standings. Parkland is just two games behind division leading Northampton with five games left on the schedule.
“We’re playing very well right now,” said coach Ed Ohlson. “We’re getting a lot of contributions from younger players and the more experienced players are continuing to play well for us. We thought that as the season went on we would be a better team and that’s what we’re seeing happen with the development of the young girls on the roster.”
One of the young players who is playing well is Berger, a sophomore. Berger has combined with Stout, a senior, to give Parkland some size that has helped them against some of the bigger teams in the EPC. Meanwhile, Courter, who is also a senior, has continued to lead the team offensively.
Against Nazareth, Courter scored 20 points, combining four two-pointers with three three-pointers and then nailing three of her four foul shots on the night.
“Claire is a complete player,” said Ohlson. “She is comfortable shooting from anywhere and she does the fundamental things really well. Her leadership is great for the team and she’s just someone that we rely on night after night. And while she does all that, she also knows when to give the ball up to someone who has a better shot, so she really knows how to play the game.”
As Parkland fights toward the postseason, they have one non-conference game remaining at Cumberland Valley (13-1, 11-0 Commonwealth Conference) on February 2. Their other four games are all EPC games and are against Central Catholic (10-6, 7-4), Emmaus (2-15, 0-11), Whitehall (5-11, 4-7) and Northampton (15-2, 10-1).
The season finale against the Konkrete Kids could determine the outcome of the Skyline Division. Parkland lost to Northampton 43-40 earlier in the season and will likely need a win in that final game to have a shot at a division title.