Girls clinch D-11 berth in win over EHS
The Emmaus girls basketball team went on a five-game winning streak in the middle of the season to battle its way back into contention for a spot in districts.
With a tough schedule to finish out the year, the Lady Hornets (7-9 overall, 4-8 East Penn Conference) were looking to come into Parkland and send a message with a win over the Trojans.
But Parkland (11-5, 8-4) was up to the task and beat Emmaus for the second time this season with a 44-27 performance led by 19 points from junior Lindsay Berger.
Parkland took control from the opening tip, holding Emmaus to just four first-quarter points and then stretching its lead to 22-10 at halftime. Parkland found a weak spot in the Emmaus defense that left shooters open for three-pointers and the Trojans took advantage of the opening to hit five three-pointers in the game, including on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter that pushed the Trojans to a 12-point advantage with 2:10 left in the first half.
Ashley Young, who started for Parkland for the first time as a varsity player, hit another three to make it 22-8 in the last minute of the half.
Carissa Foght finished the night with three baskets from beyond the arc to put up 11 points in the game.
“I told the girls in the locker room, she [Young] was a beast tonight,” said Parkland head coach Ed Ohlson. “I thought she was just tremendous, had a lot of energy and really played well for us.”
In the third quarter, Emmaus defended the outside shot better, but Berger worked her way down low and used her height to pick up eight points, all from right around the basket. Berger also pulled down 10 rebounds in the game, three on the offensive end of the court.
Parkland led by as much as 18 in the third quarter, but a 7-0 run by Emmaus cut the game to 32-21 after three quarters.
Carissa Foght hit a three-pointer on the first Parkland possession of the fourth quarter to go up by 14 and another bucket by Berger made it a 37-21 game. At that point, Ohlson started to mix in younger players off the bench, looking to get them more experience at the varsity level.
Sophomore Kelsey Mang got her first varsity playing time late in the game and got a good review from Ohlson after the game.
With a rash of preseason injuries, Ohlson needed to put younger players into increased roles with the team and those players have developed well. Now, part of the game plan is to start to feed young players who haven’t gotten a lot of playing time with some opportunities in the right spots.
“I even tell the girls, ‘don’t tell me you’re a sophomore anymore, you’re a varsity player,’” said Ohlson. “Now, we’re trying to sneak some other girls in there to give them a little experience and tonight.
“We got Kelsey in there because she’s been playing great on JV and in practice and I wanted to see her in a varsity game. She didn’t have enough time to make any big impact, but she was confident and looked good out there.”
The win locked up a district playoff spot for Parkland and has the Trojans in a tie for sixth place in the EPC, which would put them into the conference tournament that begins next month.
Parkland has six games left on the schedule, four of which are against division opponents in Central Catholic (10-6, 6-5), Northampton (15-3, 9-3), Whitehall (6-10, 3-8) and Nazareth (14-2, 10-1).
Parkland beat all of those teams the first time through the division with the exception of a 43-32 loss to Nazareth. The Blue Eagles are the final game on the Trojans’ schedule, with the game to be played at Nazareth High School.