PHS ends successful summer
The Parkland boys basketball team found itself this summer. After another run at a District 11 championship fell just short in the final, the Trojans have kept their foot on the pedal and continued the tradition of winning ways in the offseason.
Parkland went undefeated in pool play, winning all three games at the A-Town Throwdown to advance to the playoff portion. The Trojans also qualified for the Cedar Beach league playoffs, earning a spot in the final four of the field.
For a team returning four starters from last year’s team, Parkland looks like a contender for league and district titles once again in 2019-20.
“Our team can win in a variety of different ways,” said rising senior Jake Melady. “We have a lot of guys that can do different things whether it’s offensively or defensively. We have a lot of good pieces to this year’s team.”
One of those pieces that has stepped up and performed well is rising junior Trey Rolle. A point guard, Rolle came onto his own and began to be a regular part of the lineup midseason last year. He looks to be more comfortable with the ball in his hands and controlling the offense for Parkland.
“I think Trey has been playing great and is a great piece for us,” said Melady. “You know that you can give him the ball and he’ll run the offense. Since last year, with the more experience he gets he’s been more in control of the game. He’s definitely going to help us a lot this year.”
In the opening game of the Throwdown Tournament on Thursday, July 25, the Trojans made quick work of Bensalem, winning 58-25. After an off day Friday, Parkland was tested in its next game Saturday afternoon, a 49-42 victory over Central Dauphin East.
“I think defensively they brought a lot to the table, so we had to work a little bit harder to get every basket we got,” said Melady of the Panthers. “Things didn’t come easy so we just had to grit it out and want it more than the other team. That’s how we won that one.”
The Trojans finished off group play unbeaten with a 50-41 win against Dobbins Tech later Saturday. Melady led the team in scoring in both games, tallying 12 and 19 respectively. Even last season he was relied on to be a key contributor offensively, but now as a senior he has taken to that role more efficiently.
“My confidence has come from my coaches and teammates,” Melady said. “Obviously a lot of it has to come from myself, but my coaches and teammates trust me with the ball in any situation. It feels good knowing they have the confidence in me to lead the offense.”
Parkland advanced through pool play into the single-elimination part of the tournament, but fell to St. Thomas Aquinas (Bishop Ahr) 43-28 in the first-round game.
In the Cedar Beach League playoffs, the seventh-seeded Trojans took down the second-seeded Liberty Hurricanes 56-41 in the quarterfinal round behind 17 points from Melady. Bash at the Beach Tournament champ Wilson West Lawn defeated Parkland in the semifinals 70-44 and went on to win the summer league championship.