Boys fall to Allen in championship
It wasn’t the District 11 Class 6A championship game that area basketball fans had anticipated. But fifth-seed Allen met the seventh seed Parkland in the final last Saturday night at Freedom High School.
The Canaries raced out to an early double-digit lead in the first couple of minutes and did not give the Trojans (15-10) much of a chance at a comeback as Parkland fell to Allen 76-50 to finish runner-up in the district, but still advanced to the PIAA playoffs.
“It was their night,” said Trojan head coach Andy Stehens. “It just wasn’t our night. We ran into a buzz saw. Offensively, we didn’t really play the way we’ve been playing. Defensively, we didn’t play that well. But at the same time, they were awesome.”
Allen (19-9 overall) won its last district title in 2011.
After the Trojans took a 3-2 lead in the opening minute, the Canaries went on a 15-0 run to take a 14-point lead. The Canaries led by 15 points after the first and second quarters and stretched the advantage to 21 points after the third quarter.
A big part of the Allen offense came from a freshman Nate Ellis, who tallied a game-high 27 points, 18 of which were after halftime in pacing the Canaries offense and giving Parkland fits all night.
“Allen did not miss early and we dug ourselves into a hole,” said Stephens. “We wanted to play some zone defense, but we went down by so much so soon that it became tough to play a zone. Ellis controlled the game. For a freshman, he’s really good.”
The Trojans could not find a rhythm on either side of the ball in this one.
“I have a ton of respect for [Allen head coach] Doug [Snyder] and I’m happy for them,” Stephens said. “Since I played and he coached against me, I’ve respected him. I’m happy for their team, but I am disappointed for our guys. I’m really proud of our team for getting to this point. A lot of people thought we were down and out.”
Logan Rindock had a tean-high 18 points, followed by Jake Melady with 12 and Gabe Khalife rounded out the Trojans in double-figures with 10 points. Adam Klinger contributed seven points for Parkland.
The Trojans will now play Chester, the sixth-place team from District One on Saturday back at Freedom High School at 4:30 p.m.