With tough nonconference opponents like Scranton Prep and Penn Wood and the first of two match-ups with new division rival Central Catholic dotting the schedule, the first six games of the season have provided a tough stretch of games for the Parkland girls basketball team.
Those three games resulted in three losses for Parkland, giving coach Wes Spence a foothold on what needs to improve.
For three quarters, it looked like Parkland was going to leave Kutztown University with a win over the Penn Wood Lady Patriots. In the final quarter though, Penn Wood seemed to hit every shot it put up, while the Lady Trojans weren't finding the hoop as easy. The final result was a 51-44 loss for Parkland, dropping them to 3-2 on the season, although their EPC record is still a perfect 3-0.
Parkland shot 33 percent from the field in the second half after hitting on 41 percent of its shots in the opening two quarters, which put the Trojans up 26-25 at the half.
Parkland's boys and girls swim teams both picked up strong wins over Southern Lehigh Tuesday night, with the girls winning 120-66 and the boys taking a 105-80 win.
Remember that feeling of taking a test in high school and it actually turned out to be pretty easy? Well, for the Lady Trojans (2-0, 2-1), two of their three on-court tests this season have been pretty easy and they aced both of them. The latest test had Parkland downing Pleasant Valley 46-12 Tuesday night. That easy test was much like the first game of the season when Parkland beat East Stroudsburg South 68-44 to open the season.
There was also that one test that the girls didn't have some answers for in a 40-28 loss to Scranton Prep this past Saturday.
The Parkland girls swimming team has been the gold standard in local programs over the past several seasons. The Trojans come into the 2014-15 season with a streak of 28 straight wins to their credit and are looking to expand that record.
A year ago, Parkland girls basketball head coach Wes Spence wasn't sure who was going to be in his starting lineup for opening night since his team had graduated all five starters from the 2012-2013 season.
Fast forward to the present and once again, he's wondering who is going to be in his starting lineup for opening night. But this time it's because he has so many players to choose from. The dilemma comes from a successful season where Spence readily mixed and matched players as they gained a lot of varsity experience.
The third time was almost the charm for the Parkland Trojans in the PIAA quarterfinals, but they were unable to hang on to a late lead and fell to St. Joe's Prep 34-30. It marked the third straight season that the Trojans made it to the quarterfinals, but it was also the third straight season that they were eliminated at that point. It was also the second straight season that the Hawks were the ones to eliminate Parkland.
The first three times that Parkland and Whitehall girls met on the soccer field this season, Parkland came out on top. The fourth and final time that they would meet, it was Whitehall that took advantage of a slow first-half to pick up a 1-0 win in the District 11 semifinals, advancing to play Nazareth for the district championship.
The Parkland soccer team was hoping to become the first Class AAA boys team to repeat as District 11 Champions since it accomplished the feat back in 2007 and 2008. Unfortunately for the Trojans, that didn't happen as Southern Lehigh, the sixth-seeded team in the tournament, downed Parkland 2-0. The Trojans came in as the second-seed.
With just over 10 minutes gone in the first half, the Spartans' Ryan Fowler took a pass from Alex Sabram and poked it past goalkeeper Evan Bleiler for the first score of the game.
In its last two games, the Parkland girls soccer team could have saved a lot of time and energy by just going straight to penalty kicks. In both of those games, the Lady Trojans toiled through 100 minutes of soccer, only to have the game decided on penalty kicks, and on both occasions, they came out on top.