The basketball season opened Saturday for Parkland with a tough opponent in Central Dauphin. After falling to the Lady Rams 50-35, things didn’t get any easier for the Lady Trojans when they opened Eastern Pennsylvania Conference play against defending state champion Bethlehem Catholic.
The game against Beca remained close throughout the first half, but the Lady Hawks went on an impressive run in the third quarter. What was a three-point lead at the half turned into a 17-point margin en route to a 57-43 Bethlehem Catholic win.
Parkland girls basketball head coach Wes Spence has a way of bringing out the best in players. Spence is especially good at bringing young players along and preparing them to play bigger roles on the team as the season goes on. That philosophy is one reason why Parkland is always competitive both in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and in District 11 play. After a 13-3 campaign in the conference and an 18-9 run overall last season, the Lady Trojans will look to mix a new crop of young players into the rotation to compliment this year’s upperclassmen.
Because of a quirk in the rules, only one team from District 11 earned a spot in the PIAA Class 4A soccer tournament this season. That made the District 11 championship all the more important and Parkland didn’t miss its chance to gain an invitation to states, downing Emmaus 2-0 to become the district champion.
Josh Kiser broke the ice with a goal 17 minutes into the game to give Parkland early momentum. That was be the only goal that Parkland would need, but the Trojans added a second with just over 20 minutes left in the game.
Senior leadership is great, but sometimes, it’s nice to have a young player come through with a big play in a big spot. That’s exactly what Jocelyn Fowler did when she took a corner kick for Parkland in the second overtime of the District 11 championship and played it perfectly, leading to the winning goal in a 1-0 game.
Why let a freshman take such an important kick? It turns out that Fowler was simply in the right place at the right time.
Patrick Birns isn’t fond of having to play teams over and over again, but as expected, his Trojans team is going to be facing Emmaus for a fourth time this season in the District 11 Championship. The meeting was set up when Parkland downed East Stroudsburg South 4-0 Tuesday night at Nazareth High School.
The Parkland girls kept their perfect season going with a 4-0 win over Pocono Mountain East, pushing their record to 23-0 on the season. The win, combined with Emmaus’ win over Easton, puts Parkland and Emmaus in Thursday’s District 11 Championship game.
Tori Maybruck got Parkland started just under 10 minutes into the game when she lifted a shot over Pocono Mountain East goalie Allison Bone, who came out of the goal to try to stop Maybruck’s shot.
Parkland field hockey headed into the District 11 quarterfinals with hopes of knocking off second-seeded Liberty on their home turf.
Unfortunately, the Lady Hurricanes had other ideas and a quick start by the Liberty offense led to a 3-0 loss for Parkland. The loss ended the Lady Trojans’ season with a 9-10-1 record overall.
Liberty took advantage of early corner opportunities to jump out to a 2-0 lead. On their first corner opportunity, Rayne Wright took the insert pass and made a quick move before firing past goalie Brie Barraco to put the Hurricanes up 1-0.
Most people look forward to Friday. Parkland boys soccer head coach Patrick Birns was especially looking forward last Friday. By day he is a gym teacher at Emmaus, the team his Trojans beat 2-1 to win the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference title last Thursday evening for their second straight league title.
“It’s going to make for a nice Friday,” said Birns last week.
The win was the 20th of the season for Parkland, which has lost just once and that was to South Kent High School in Connecticut, a nationally ranked team.
The seniors on the Parkland girls soccer team have no idea what it’s like to not finish the season as the conference champion. For four straight seasons, Parkland has taken home the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference championship, grabbing its fourth in a row with a 2-1 win over Easton at J. Birney Crum Stadium last week.
After outscoring Emmaus 8-1 in their two regular season meetings this season, it looked like the Eastern Pennsylvania semifinal matchup between the Trojans and Hornets was going to be somewhat lopsided when Parkland jumped out to a 3-0 lead with 15 minutes left in the first half.
Parkland is known for making adjustments at halftime that generate more goals in the second half, but this time it was different. In the end, Parkland grabbed a 3-2 win, but it wasn’t easy as the Hornets completely outplayed Parkland in the final half.