The Parkland girls quest for back-to-back District 11 Championships came to an end Tuesday night with a 44-29 loss to top-seeded Easton. Their attention now turns to Friday's consolation game against Pocono Mountain West, with the winner advancing to the PIAA Tournament.
Gabby Bloshuk led the Red Rovers with 10 points, five of which came in the final quarter of play. It was Bloshuk who delivered the final blow. With 2:45 left to play and Parkland struggling to stick within striking distance, Bloshuk hit a three-pointer to give Easton its largest lead of the game to that point.
Sophomore Chris Lehman will represent Parkland High School next month at the PIAA Diving Championships at Bucknell University. Lehman topped the field of 11 divers in the Class AA boys competition, with a final score of 443.30 in the 11-dive meet.
Freshman Kelsey German, who finished with a score of 461.55, just missed a spot in states, finishing third on the girls side, behind Emmaus' Jess Hurlburt (509.30) and Easton's Kelsey Jehl (487.10).
German closed the gap over her final two dives, but wasn't able to catch Jehl, a senior, who won the event last year.
After an early exit in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Tournament, the Lady Trojans are hoping for a much longer run in the District 11 Tournament.
Parkland comes into the tournament as the fifth seed and its opening game is Friday night against fourth-seeded Pottsville, which stands at 19-4 on the season.
Parkland, which played a difficult schedule both because of the toughness of its division and out of conference games against strong programs, is at 17-6.
For the seventh straight season, the Parkland girls are the conference swimming champions, completing their regular season schedule undefeated at 12-0. They locked up both the undefeated season and EPC championship with a 104.5-81.5 win over rival Emmaus last week. The boys team finished the season at 10-2, dropping the meet against Emmaus by a 111-75 score, rebounding from a 7-5 finish last season.
The two regular season meetings between Parkland and Nazareth were pretty lopsided. The Blue Eagles won the first meeting, which was on their court, by a 41-21 score. Last week, Nazareth came to Parkland's home court and the Lady Trojans played what may have been their best game of the season in beating Nazareth 44-24.
The rivalry between Parkland and Emmaus in swimming is one of the better rivalries in local sports. They are two of the best swimming programs in the area and their rivalry has a long, storied history with ups and downs for both sides.
The latest chapter will be written Thursday afternoon at Parkland High School.
The story line over the past few seasons has been that the Parkland girls leave the pool with a win over their counterparts, while the Emmaus boys make it a split decision.
After facing some ups and downs throughout the season, the Lady Trojans seem to be putting things together as the regular season winds down. The latest example was an impressive 44-24 win over a tough Nazareth (11-4, 15-5) team, which officially put Parkland (10-5, 13-8) into the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference playoffs. Sarah Stagaard led Parkland with 11 points, while Erin Bross had seven and Emily Piston hit two early three-pointers, finishing with six points.
You could certainly say that Tuesday was a good day in the pool for Adam Sicinski. The Parkland senior competed in four events - two individual and two relay - and finished first in all four as both the Parkland boys and girls picked up wins over Freedom.
Sicinski helped the boys team to a 112-74 win over the Patriots (8-2 conference, 8-3 overall) as the Parkland boys upped their record to (9-1, 10-1) on the year. Sicinski took first in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events and was a member of relay teams that captured the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
Parkland and Liberty met up in what was the Trojans' biggest challenge of the season. Both boys teams came into the meet undefeated and the only loss on the girls side was by Liberty, who stood at 7-1 compared to Parkland's 7-0 mark.
At the EPC Diving Championship this past weekend, Kelsey German came away pleasantly surprised, while Jon Hansell saw things play out just about how he expected.
Both divers left with second-place finishes in the meet, with Hansell battling Emmaus' Andrew Vanim and German fighting her way through a group of strong divers.
German was fourth through eight dives, but got hot at just the right time to surge past Emmaus' Jess Hurlburt and Easton's Kelsey Jehl for her second-place finish.