Girls look to enter postseason on winning note
You never want to tell a coach that his team played an ugly game. On Tuesday night, you didn’t have to use the word ‘ugly’ around Parkland coach Ed Ohlson because he was the one that brought it up.
The Lady Trojans never got in sync and committed an uncharacteristic number of turnovers against a good Northampton team resulting in a 46-34 loss for Parkland.
The game opened with a pre-arranged tip-off that saw Lindsay Berger tip the ball to teammate Marissa Olenwine, who then tossed to Mia Coval, who was playing in her first game of the season as she rehabbed from an ACL tear.
Coval has been cleared medically, but has been cautioned about avoiding any contact. The senior was then given plenty of room by the Northampton defense and on her third attempt, scored her first and only basket of the season. Parkland then allowed the Northampton offense to come down the court unguarded to tie the score.
At that point, Coval and fellow senior Jada Rodriguez, who has also missed much of the season with an injury, left the game.
Even with both teams getting two free points to start the game, the first quarter ended in a 6-6 tie as both teams struggled with turnovers and hitting shots. By halftime, the game was in a 17-17 knot with neither team still playing well. Northampton (17-3 overall, 11-3 EPC) made some adjustments at halftime and stopped trying to drive to the net against Berger, six-foot tall junior, and instead started pulling up for short jumpers.
The strategy worked for Northampton as they appeared to get their offense straightened out somewhat, but Parkland (12-5, 9-5) continued to struggle the entire game.
“We never got our offense in sync tonight,” lamented Ohlson. “Quite frankly, that’s a concern because that’s been an issue at times this season and we can’t play like that against good teams and expect to be able to get away with it.”
Northampton’s Morgan Sterner led all scorers with 20 points and Berger led Parkland with 14.
After falling to Parkland in the first meeting of the season, Northampton was looking to send a message. The win also cemented a spot in the EPC playoffs for Northampton and moved them two games ahead of Parkland in the Skyline Division.
Parkland has qualified for districts and will likely qualify for the EPC tournament, but haven’t officially clinched a spot.
Parkland still has four games left on their regular season schedule, including two conference games against Whitehall (6-13, 3-10) and Nazareth (17-2, 13-1) and two nonconference games against Central Bucks East (12-5, 6-3 Suburban One) and Cumberland Valley (13-2, 11-1 Mid-Penn).
The Lady Trojans need a win in one of their two remaining conference games to clinch a spot in the EPC tournament, which begins next Friday. Parkland could conceivably lose both conference games and still wind up in the conference tournament.
Ohlson is hoping that his team will rise to the occasion in its remaining games and head into the postseason on a good stretch of games.
“We struggled for a while earlier in the season and it took us a few games to pull out of it and we lost some games during that stretch that were definitely winnable games for us,” said Ohlson. “One thing we don’t have right now is time because we have some games stacked up and they’re against very good teams, so we have to pull things together quickly.”
Rodriguez and Coval were saluted prior to the game as the team celebrated Senior Night. The players also saluted mentors who have helped them through their high school careers. Rodriguez selected her mother as her mentor, while Coval chose assistant coaches Amanda Wolf and Sarah Oswald as her mentors.