Parkland girls fall in District 11 semifinal
After a win in the quarterfinals of the District 11 Class 6A girls basketball tournament, Parkland had locked up a spot both in the district semifinals and in states. The Trojans looked to advance to the district championship game, but things went off the rails for them Tuesday night at Catasauqua High School when they lost a 52-26 decision to top-seeded Nazareth.
“We just didn’t look ready to play and that comes back on me,” said Parkland head coach Ed Ohlson after the loss. “We have to play better than we did tonight and be better prepared or we’ll be in a lot of trouble.”
The loss puts the Lady Trojans (15-10) into a district consolation game that will determine their seeding for the PIAA tournament, which begins late next week. Parkland will play Pocono Mountain West (15-9), which lost to Freedom in the other semifinal game Tuesday night, while Nazareth (23-4) and Freedom (22-4) meet for the district gold medals.
On Tuesday night, both teams came out a little tentative and pretty much matched each other basket for basket in the early going. A pair of free-throws from Kelly Leszcynski put Nazareth up for the first time in the game with a 6-5 edge with 2:26 left in the first quarter. From there, Nazareth continued to build a lead by going on an 11-0 run that wasn’t snapped until Lindsay Berger hit from down low with 24 seconds left in the quarter, cutting it to a 15-7 game.
Turnovers hampered Parkland throughout the game and gave the Trojans limited opportunities to put up shots. The turnovers combined with good defensive play from Nazareth held Parkland to just four points in the second quarter as the Blue Eagles built a 29-11 lead at halftime.
“We looked like we were playing at five miles-per-hour and they looked like they were playing at 50 miles-per-hour,” said Ohlson. “The way we were playing made their defense look even stronger than it was and we made a lot of mistakes. We’ve got to fix this for Friday night, because if not, the result will be much the same against Pocono Mountain West, who beat us during the regular season.”
Parkland wasn’t helped by the fact that Nazareth seemingly hit everything they put up toward the basket. Leszcynski finished with 18 points and Talya Brugler, who scored 22 in the last meeting between the two teams, finished with 17 points.
Late in the game, the Lady Blue Eagles went to the bench and even the reserve players found success with freshman Addison Kea hitting a three-pointer and sophomore Blake Shuler making a nice move through the lane for a layup.
Berger, a junior, finished with a team-high nine points and six rebounds for Parkland, while sophomore Zoe Wilkinson finished with five points and six rebounds. Junior Sonya Shivok finished the game with six points for Parkland.
The game was the fourth meeting of the season between Parkland and Nazareth and the Lady Blue Eagles have now won three of the four meetings. Ohlson had hoped that having some familiarity with the Nazareth team would help his players in the game.
“It actually gets easier when you play a team this much because you know what they like to do and how they play,” Ohlson said. “We just didn’t play the way we’re capable of playing tonight and like I said, we’ve got to fix that because Pocono Mountain West is a good team and obviously we’ll face a good team in states. That comes back to me to get them prepared to play.”
The site and time for Friday night’s game had yet to be determined as of Press deadline.