Boys beat PMW
Senior captains Jake Melady and Jared Kucharczuk have both grown and come onto their own this year in their final seasons in red and white. The duo combined to score more than half of the Trojans’ points as Parkland ran away in the fourth quarter in a 71-57 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference victory over Pocono Mountain West last Thursday night at Parkland High School.
The win over the Panthers (4-7 overall, 2-4 EPC) was the second in-a-row for the Trojans (7-4, 5-3).
“Jake and Jared are our captains for a reason,” head coach Andy Stephens said. “They have the experience. We look for them to carry us during adverse times like we faced tonight. They have been the type of leaders that we want them to be.”
Melady (22 points) and Kucharczuk (16 points) weren’t the only Parkland players that reached double-figures in scoring. Nick Rappa tallied 10 points, including four-of-five from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. Trey Rolle finished with nine points.
Melady netted four three-pointers on the night, half of which came in the fourth quarter when the Trojans turned just a six-point advantage (47-41) into a 14-point win, outscoring Pocono Mountain West 24-16 in the final quarter.
“We just stayed patient and waited for our chance to come,” said Stephens on the fourth-quarter run. “The guys were confident. They knew they were going to make a run. It was just a matter of executing like they know they can.”
Parkland jumped out to a double-digit lead after the opening frame thanks to a combined 13 points by Melady (seven) and Rolle (six) to lead 19-9. The second quarter belonged to Kucharczuk, who recorded nine of his 16 in that eight-minute frame to pace his team to a 36-23 edge at halftime.
The Panthers went on an 18-11 run in the third quarter to pull to within just six after three. But the Trojans sealed the game from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter, going eight-of-10. JT Siggins and Vinny Gerbasio both went two-for-two, while Rappa was four-of-five.
Parkland fell to East Stroudsburg South, the first-place team in the EPC Mountain Division, the following night, and then dropped a close game at Freedom this past Tuesday night.
“I feel okay with where we are so far,” said Stephens. “We need to keep improving so that we are playing our best basketball toward the end of the year. These kids know what it takes to win in the postseason, so we expect them to play like it every night.”
Parkland has a busy week with games against Notre Dame of Green Pond (Wednesday), at Dieruff on Friday and home against Lower Merion on Sunday, before hosting Pleasant Valley on Tuesday.