Slowly but surely, the bats are warming up for the Parkland baseball team. And that spells trouble for the rest of the East Penn Conference. In the past week, the Trojans have scored 31 runs in three games, including a 9-0 win over Nazareth (2-2 overall, 2-2 EPC) on Monday and a 15-0 pasting of Central Catholic (0-5, 0-3) last Thursday. In between came a 7-3 win against Wilson-West Lawn, and all of a sudden, Parkland is 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the EPC.
The Lady Trojans spent a few days in the warmth of Florida tuning up for the high school softball season. Their four games at Disney’s Wide World of Sports facility in Orlando proved fruitful as they went 3-1 on the trip with the only loss coming to Immaculate Heart Academy of New Jersey in their opening game.
The Parkland baseball roster took a hit with the graduation of three hitters who all batted above .330 last season. In addition to those losses, other key bats left for college, leaving the offense as a question mark coming into the season.
The good news is that Parkland seems to have a machine hidden somewhere deep in the high school that keeps cranking out pitchers, so the Trojans will still be a team to contend with both in the East Penn Conference and District 11 this season.
Three divers and one swimmer from Parkland came home from Bucknell University with medals in the PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships this past weekend.
Sophomore Ally Lin brought home a fourth-place medal in the 500-yard freestyle event, while divers Lexi Lehman and Alexa Brinker finished fifth and seventh, respectively, in the event. Sophomore Logan Choma finished seventh in diving in the boys’ competition.
The Parkland Lady Trojans saw their season come to an end with a 56-34 loss to Abington in the first round of the PIAA Class 6A tournament last Friday night.
The Galloping Ghosts (23-4) moved on to the second round of the tournament where they defeated Cumberland Valley 52-48 and will now play Upper Dublin in the quarterfinals on Friday.
When you reach the PIAA basketball tournament, you know you’re going to be playing against good teams. For Parkland’s girls team, its first-round draw is especially tough as the Trojans have to play the Abington Heights Galloping Ghosts (24-4), the third-place team from a tough District One.
The easiest way to stop the Ghosts is to stop Kassondra Brown, their 6-foot-2 center who is headed to the University of Rhode Island. Brown is a force both offensively and defensively, averaging 18 points per game and 13 rebounds per game this season.
Ed Ohlson is never the kind to duck the media after a bad game. With that being said, he admittedly wasn’t looking forward to reliving the events that led his team to a 60-47 loss in the District 11 Class 6A semifinal game against Northampton. It was one of those nights where things just didn’t go well for Parkland and the game quickly slowly slid away from the Trojans.
At this time of the basketball season, you can look back and see exactly how a team came to be ranked where they are headed into the District 11 playoffs. If you look at Parkland’s spot as a four-seed in girls Class 6A basketball and look just below them, you see the Lady Bears of Pleasant Valley. The two teams met during the regular season in a game that was moved up a day to avoid a forecast that called for bad weather and was moved to Orefield Middle School and Parkland came away with a 55-40 win.
Parkland’s size has come in very handy at many points during the girls basketball season. The Trojans also have good enough team speed that they can play with most teams that prefer to run an up-tempo style.
But Parkland struggled against the aggressive, fast-paced style that Freedom showed them in the first round of the East Penn Conference playoffs. Ironically though, the turning point involved a strong outside game from a player coming off the bench, which sent Parkland to a 40-30 loss to Freedom, eliminating the Lady Trojans from the EPC playoffs.
It’s not easy to beat Northampton. The game plan is to contain two of the top players in the Lehigh Valley in Jenna Rogers and Victoria Keenan.
How good are the two players? They’re both seniors and 1,000-point scorers. With that in mind, Parkland coach Ed Ohlson tasked freshman Kaz Kennedy with guarding Keenan.
“We’re just starting to see what she is capable of,” said Ohlson of his freshman. “They say ‘the sky is the limit.’ Her ceiling is pretty, pretty high. I can’t tell you how hard she works.”