PHS girls win first three games
Coming into the season, Parkland girls basketball head coach Ed Ohlson had already been dealt a handful of key injuries and with very young players having to take on bigger roles, he was cautious about what to expect from this year’s team.
Through the first three games, both Ohlson and his players have turned caution into confidence as the Lady Trojans have opened up with a 3-0 record. The Trojans won the Tip-Off Classic in Bristol and then opened league play with a convincing 52-30 win over Emmaus Tuesday night.
“I think we are capable of playing this way,” said Ohlson after the win over Emmaus. “I don’t know if it will happen every night; I hope it does. Their effort in practice has been ridiculous and they’ve really come together as a team, which is as important as anything.”
Junior Lindsay Berger led all scorers with 18 points and sat for much of the fourth quarter against Emmaus as younger players got some time on the court after Parkland had pushed their lead to 21 points midway through the fourth quarter. Sonya Shivok put up 15 points and Carisa Foght scored 10.
Emmaus came into the game having hit 16 three-pointers in two games and they took the same approach against Parkland. The Hornets were able to hang relatively close to Emmaus early on, but by halftime, Parkland had opened up a 26-17 lead. In the second half, Parkland completely took away the three-point shot and Emmaus struggled when it had to work inside. The Hornets finished with five three-pointers in the game, but were held to just one bucket from inside the three-point line in the second half.
Berger wasn’t quite as cautious as her coach was coming into the year and the quick start hasn’t been much of a surprise to her. She’s been impressed with how younger players have adapted and how they’ve taken to input from her, other players and the coaching staff.
“The first three games that we’ve played have been good games and we all showed up, which is what I expected of these girls,” siad Berger. “We can’t let the 3-0 start get in our heads and we have to keep pushing through because we have a tough couple of weeks coming ahead, so we’ve got to work hard and practice and just get it done. Starting 0-3 would have definitely hurt us mentally, but winning all three sort of put a chip on our shoulder.”
One thing that Ohlson was confident of coming into the season was that Berger would be a go-to player and a team leader. He believes that while she has always had poise and natural leadership abilities, the group that she played with last season really bring out those qualities and prepare her for this season.
“You saw how hard she played tonight and I think the girls feed off of that,” Ohlson said. “I think they see her and they say, ‘okay, we can’t let her down because she’s playing so hard.’ I think it just lifts all of the other girls to have leadership like we do with Lindsay.”
Berger has accepted that leadership role with the team, but she deflects part of the credit to the young players who have put in a lot of hard work and aren’t taking anything for granted. The younger players have responded well to coaching and actually seek out more input from Berger and other players. They’ve also seen how hard the older players practice and play and are adopting that standard for themselves.
Parkland has just two seniors in Mia Coval and Jada Rodriguez. Coval was one of the players who went down with an injury before the season and she’s out for the year. The small senior class and Berger’s play on the court have made her the team leader for Parkland.
“Even though I’m a junior, I sort of feel like a senior,” said Berger with a bit of a laugh. “These girls are so coachable and we’re all friends. They’ve all kind of just come together and they’re talented and they listen to me and I listen to what they have to say and what they ask. They’re a lot of fun to work with and I’m excited about what they’re bringing to the team.”