Parkland Press

Saturday, April 4, 2020
PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBParkland’s Jake Melady is one of four returning starters for the Trojan boys basketball team. PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBParkland’s Jake Melady is one of four returning starters for the Trojan boys basketball team.

Boys seek return to title game

Thursday, December 5, 2019 by CJ HEMERLY Special to the Press in Sports

The 2019-20 version of the Parkland boys basketball team will be hungry. The Trojans have plenty of talent and experience returning from last season, but those players will also be back wanting to win more than ever before.

Last year the Trojans earned a spot in the District 11 Class 6A championship game, but the result left a bad taste in their mouths, losing to Allen 76-50 in a game that was never really close.

Enter this season, with four starters and multiple role players from last year back, head coach Andy Stephens, in his 12th season at the helm, and his players want to get back to the big stage.

“We’ve been in eight district championship games in the last 11 years, winning five,” said Stephens. “Last year’s loss to Allen stung. They were the more prepared and wanted it more. The kids are hungrier than ever to get back there. It’s a big goal of theirs this year.”

Starters returning in 2019-20 include junior Trey Rolle and seniors Jared Kucharczuk, Jake Melady and Nick Rappa. Fellow senior Dylan Rhoads also saw a lot of time last year and will join an experienced group for Stephens.

Parkland will also feature some tall, athletic players this season, a group of which are coming over after completing their football season. Senior Ja Lon Perkins (6-foot-3) and juniors Jordan Lewis (6-5) and J.T. Siggins (6-3) will add some length on the floor, along with senior guard Chris Lessel, also from the football team.

“We have a lot of guys back this year that helped us out last year,” Stephens said. “I also see a lot of guys that will contribute and that we know we can play and trust in them. This team is close and they had a great work ethic in the offseason to be at their best this season.”

Senior Vinny Gerbasio, along with juniors Jake Mclean, Mason Bergstein and Jesshawn Thomas round out the roster for this season.

Parkland opens up its campaign hosting rival Emmaus on Tuesday night, followed by Eastern Pennsylvania Conference games against Central Catholic and Northampton on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. Both are at home.