Parkland knocks off Nazareth
The Parkland Lady Trojans knew they were headed for both the East Penn Conference and District 11 girls basketball tournaments, but they went into Nazareth High School Monday night playing like their postseason lives depended on winning against a tough team.
The Trojans traveled home with an impressive 46-43 double overtime win over the Blue Eagles, finishing their season at 14-8 overall and 11-5 in the EPC.
Lindsay Berger finished the night as the high scorer for Parkland with 17 points, while Sonya Shivok scored 12 for the Trojans.
Defense dominated throughout the game with the two teams tied at halftime at 12-12. Nazareth bucked the trend in the third quarter when it put up 16 points as Kelly Leszcynski and Talya Brugler went to work on the offensive end.
The result was a 28-21 lead as it looked like Nazareth had found a way to break through. Parkland wasn’t done, and the Trojans combined a rejuvenated defense with some offense to come back and tie the game, sending it to overtime tied at 34-34.
Parkland got hot at just the right time and opened up a little breathing room in the second overtime period before locking up the win.
The win may give Parkland a little momentum going into the postseason. After playing perhaps their weakest game of the season against Northampton, the Lady Trojans dropped two non-conference games to Central Bucks East and Cumberland Valley, with a win over Whitehall squeezed in between the two losses.
The win over Nazareth was also important because Parkland is set to face the Blue Eagles in the first round of the EPC playoffs, which begin Friday and the game will again be at Nazareth High School. Earlier in the season, the two teams met at Parkland with the Eagles downing the Lady Trojans 43-32.
One of the concerns for Parkland has been the inconsistency of its offense at times this season, something that coach Ed Ohlson has worked to improve.
“We’ve had two stretches now this season where we just didn’t play well offensively and didn’t do the right things and it’s cost us,” said the veteran coach. “The only way you work out of those things is by playing and getting your confidence up and we hope that once the playoffs get here that we’ll be back to where we need to be.”
The Lady Trojans had a 2-4 streak earlier in the season that was caused primarily by offensive issues. When they did get the offense going, it was seemingly at the expense of the defense and the team just couldn’t seem to get in stride. Ohlson let his players know after the loss to Northampton that their play had to get better or the playoffs could be a short run.
“It’s not the effort and I wanted them to understand that,” said Ohlson. “We just get ourselves out of sync every now and then and don’t always run plays through or make mental mistakes. It’s too easy to get into bad habits in this game and then when you struggle to get shots to fall, it all snowballs.”