Hornets sweep Parkland
The Parkland boys basketball team has not been swept in a regular season by Emmaus in quite some time. But the Trojans were on the wrong end of things last Thursday night as the Green Hornets came out on top of the rivalry game 60-51 in Eastern Pennsylvania Conference action at Parkland High School.
Jared Kucharczuk and Jake Melady both recorded double-figures in points for Parkland (13-8 overall, 9-6 EPC), who lost for just the second time in its last five games.
Kucharczuk tallied a game-high 16 points while Melady added 14 for the Trojans. It was the second straight victory for the Green Hornets (17-3, 12-2) over the Trojans and the sixth consecutive win overall for Emmaus.
Senior Mark Swedberg tallied a team-high 15 points and added three rebounds and two blocks to lead the Green Hornets. Classmates Zach Sabol (14 points, 11 rebounds), Bryce Diehl (13 points, five rebounds, two steals) and Ethan Parvel (10 points) rounded out the quartet in double-digits.
Emmaus was down 31-28 at halftime, but outscored Parkland 13-4 in the third quarter to take control of the game and never looked back on its way to earning the win.
“You’re not going to beat a team like Emmaus scoring just four points in a quarter,” said head coach Andy Stephens said on his team’s third quarter performance. “I thought defensively we played well for the majority of the game, but my biggest concern is that there were three or four possessions toward the end of the game where we made bad decisions. We’re too far into the season to be doing that.”
The Trojans went up early and held a 7-2 advantage 1:55 into the game, forcing a timeout from head coach Steve Yoder. The timeout worked as the Hornets scored the next seven points to take their first lead of the game at 9-7.
After a back-and-forth next 5:25, which featured seven lead changes, Parkland took an 18-16 lead after the first quarter.
The Trojans never lost their lead in the second quarter, although there were two ties, and they went into the locker room up by three.
But once the third quarter began, the Hornets opened with the first four points and once it took a 34-33 lead midway through the quarter, never trailed again for the remainder of the game.
A big reason behind the comeback was the defense as Emmaus held Parkland to just two third quarter field goals and the Trojans shot just 2-for-13 from the floor. They went just 4-of-9 in the fourth.
“We have to shoot better,” Stephens said. “Even if our defense isn’t on par, we have to be able to create better offensively.”
Parkland defeated Whitehall the next night before falling to Northampton. The Trojans were scheduled to finish the regular season Wednesday against Nazareth. A win over the Eagles should clinch a league playoff berth. A loss and Parkland could need some help from other teams. The EPC playoffs start Friday with quarterfinals and continue with semifinals and championship games next week.