Lady Trojans top PMW in third-place game
Parkland’s free throw shooting could have sealed the deal late against Pocono Mountain West in the District 11 Class 6A consolation game. But two misses late, and shooting 6-for-15 in the fourth quarter, forced overtime.
When that time came, the Trojans came out in the extra session with a sense of urgency. Parkland scored the first seven points of the overtime period to catapult the No. 5 seeded Trojans to a 45-39 win over No. 6 Pocono Mountain West last Friday night at Allen High School.
Both teams had already qualified for the PIAA Class 6A tournament that starts this week.
All that was left to decide was their seeding and opponents. With the win, Parkland will face District 1’s No.4 seed Spring-Ford on Friday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. at Easton Middle School.
“This one wasn’t [tough to get up for] because of two reasons,” Parkland head coach Ed Olson said. “We got our butts handed to us on Tuesday, and we just felt that we needed to come back from that. And there’s a little motivation to be the third-ranked team [out of District 11]. The girls took that to heart.”
After junior Sonya Shivok hit a free throw to open the overtime period, junior Lindsay Berger drove to the hoop and scored for a 40-37 Trojan lead. Moments later off a missed free throw, Shivok recorded a rebound and putback for a six-point lead in the final moments. That was the biggest Parkland lead of the game at the time.
“It was our foul shots,” Shivok said. “We really regrouped and made a few of them. After practice we take 15 minutes of time at least to just shoot constant foul shots.”
“It was a game we thought we gave away, and we almost gave it away, too,” Olson said of the regular season meeting against the Panthers. “I think Sonya’s putback was huge. That gave us that cushion that we hadn’t had. We knew we could spread them out, and we knew we always had an advantage with Lindsay with whoever they put on her.”
Parkland went just 4-of-8 from the charity stripe in overtime, but hit a number of clutch ones when it needed to. Berger (19) and Shivok (16) combined for 35 points and scored every Trojan point after halftime.
“It was a really good team win,” Shivok said. “We all played great together. It was a great team effort.”
Early on, Pocono Mountain West was in control after taking a quick 8-2 lead. Taliyah Malone scored seven of the Panthers’ 10 points in the opening frame.
Parkland, however, slowly chipped away. A jumper from Zoe Wilkinson late in the first period got the Trojans within 10-9 after eight minutes. A three-point play from Berger early in the second gave Parkland its first lead at 13-12, and the Trojans went ahead 17-12 when Shivok hit a 3-pointer with 4:30 remaining in the half.
“We just took a breath, regrouped, and realized that we had to match their intensity,” Shivok said. “In the end we really exceeded their intensity.”
Each team scored just five points in the third before a back-and-fourth fourth quarter. Despite holding a 34-30 lead, Azahni Simmons hit a 3-pointer for Pocono Mountain West that cut the Trojans’ lead to a point. She then scored on a drive late that gave got the Panthers within a point, and Jada Bower scored in transition with under a minute to play for a 37-36 lead.
After tying the game seconds later on a free throw, Berger blocked a potential game-winning shot in the final moments to help force overtime.
The loss also helped the Trojans avenge a regular season loss to Pocono Mountain West, despite being without one of its starters in Carisa Fogt.
Malone led the Panthers with 12 points, and Simmons finished with 12.