Parkland falls to Reading in summer league
The Parkland boys basketball team got off to a slow start Tuesday in it’s summer basketball game against Reading.
The Trojans trailed the perennial state power Red Knights by nearly 20 points in the first half. But Parkland never gave up and came within one shot of a win.
The early deficit proved too much to overcome as the Trojans lost the game against the Red Knights 52-48 last Tuesday evening in the Cedar Beach Summer Basketball League.
The Trojans were down by 18 points in the opening half and did not have an answer on either end of the court against the 2019 District 3 runner up. Reading connected on a majority of its shots, and played fast on defense, forcing Parkland into tough offensive possessions.
Trailing by just two points with under 20 seconds left to play, the Trojans had a good look at the basket, but the ball on the tough outdoor hoop did not drop. Reading hit two free throws to seal the deal.
“Overall I thought it was a good team effort,” said Parkland coach Eddie Ohlsen. “We dug ourselves a hole in the first half and used a lot of energy.
“It was great seeing us get back into the game. I thought a lot of guys gave some great minutes, and that’s what summer’s about. We were missing a couple of guys so some younger players were asked to do things they’re not used to. Anytime you come back like that, it’s a compliment to the team as a whole.”
Jared Kucharczuk led the way for Parkland with 17 points, and Jake Melady finished with 13 points.
Chris Lessel added five points, but his play running the point guard position and leading the offense is what impressed Ohlsen.
“He gave us good minutes and he knows the system now as a senior,” Ohlsen said. “He is an energy guy and gives us positive minutes. He is taking his opportunity now and it looks like it’s working out for us.”
Following a tough start to the game, trailing 33-23 at halftime, the Trojans found life. Their defense led to offense and transition layups on the other end, and they rebounded.
A Kucharczuk layup with 1:45 remaining cut the Parkland deficit to 48-46. Reading added two free-throws on its next possession, followed by Melady doing the same. Ahead 50-48, the Red Knights were forced into a turnover by the Trojans and Parkland had the ball with 20 seconds left, but could not convert on a game-winning three-point attempt.
“We’ve had a good summer so far,” said Ohlsen of the 4-2 Trojans. “We lost a good amount of seniors from last year’s team so I think we need to continue to work on team chemistry.
“We’re still trying to figure that out, but overall we’re extremely happy with where we are.”