No matter what the sport, fans, players and coaches always take a glance at the brackets and look for the best matchups later in the tournament. Looking at the District 11 doubles bracket, there was one potential match that loomed large. It was a potential semifinal match between Pleasant Valley and Parkland.
The Pleasant Valley duo of Jon White and John Walmach came in as the number two seed and Parkland's Nick Kshatri and Pete Harrison were the tournament's three seed. Both duos picked up convincing wins in their first three matches to lead them into their head-to-head pairing.
The playoff picture in the Lehigh Valley Conference is clearing up and Parkland took a big step toward clinching its place in the postseason with a 4-0 win over Northampton on Tuesday.
There is no denying that the Parkland baseball team is in a tough division.
The Lehigh Valley Conference North has three of the four teams vying for the top spot in the division and it's getting to the time of year when one of those teams needs to show they're better than the rest.
The Trojans (7-2, 11-4) currently stand a half game behind Whitehall (8-2, 12-2) in the division and are a game and a half ahead of Northampton (6-4, 9-6).
The District 11 singles tournament didn't exactly go how Parkland fans would have liked to see it go, but it did provide some great moments.
The quarterfinals provided a highlight when teammates Nick Kshatri and Nate Lyman went up against each other. The result was a hard fought 6-3, 6-3 win for Kshatri that sent him into the semifinals.
"How can you complain? They played great," said proud Parkland coach Michael Hingston. "In the first match, Nate's making a name for himself and I think a lot of people took notice to what he was able to do.
The Lady Trojan softball team has kept its record spotless through 13 games this season as it enters the home stretch. The team has already wrapped up an LVC and district playoff berth and is honing in on a division title.
Because of rainouts, Parkland played back-to-back games against different opponents last weekend, but came through the doubleheader in great shape with a 7-0 win over Wilson West Lawn and a 9-0 win over Interboro. Coach Barry Search switched his lineup around a little because of the two games, but pushed all the right buttons.
The Parkland Trojans are one of three schools to put all three of its singles players into the District 11 Tennis Tournament this year. Nick Kshatri, Pete Harrison and Nate Lyman are all in the tournament, with Kshatri being the number four seed. Harrison and Lyman are unseeded. It's the second season in a row that Kshatri is seeded fourth. Last season he went all the way to the quarterfinals. Harrison also played in the tournament last season, but was eliminated in the first round.
Parkland tennis remains the only undefeated team in the Lehigh Valley Conference after surviving a scare in a nonleague match against Southern Lehigh. The Spartans battled the Trojans, but came up on the short end of a 4-3 score. Southern Lehigh is one of the stronger teams in the Colonial League and now stand at 8-2 in the league and 9-3 overall this season.
The Trojans' top singles player, Nick Kshatri and number three player Nate Lyman picked up straight set wins over their opponents and Parkland got wins from their bottom two doubles teams to secure the victory.
"You play with who you have," said Parkland tennis head coach Mike Hingston after his team downed rival Emmaus 5-2 Tuesday for their 110th straight Lehigh Valley Conference win. That mantra was important for his team, which was without number two singles player Pete Harrison and a couple of other players who were on a class field trip.
Coming into the season, the Parkland tennis team was unable to have tryouts because of the weather and spent its practice time in the gym, primarily working on conditioning. When the season opened, the Trojans were happy to be out on courts and playing.
One player who was very happy to get back onto the courts is sophomore Nick Kshastri, who went to the quarterfinals of the district tournament last year as a freshman and is looking to make even more progress this season.
The Parkland boys tennis team reached a milestone last April when it recorded a 6-1 win over Freedom for the program's 100th straight league win.
The streak is still going strong at 103 games, but the defense of the streak will have to go on without some key players from last year's squad.
Graduation took its toll on the Parkland boys tennis team, which lost players like Egor Ivanov, Roshan Joshi, Marcus Spiegel, Mike Adams and Donovan Snyder, who all played key roles on last year's district championship team.