Parkland boys basketball senior Gabe Khalife has been a Swiss army knife when it comes to his role with the basketball program. He has started, come off the bench, played as a defensive stopper and has been a top scorer.
Last Friday night, Khalife was the main man in helping to lead the Trojans to a 58-54 win in the Allen High School Holiday Classic championship game at Sewards Gymnasium to give them some momentum heading into the new year.
The Parkland boys basketball team had been playing the role of cardiac kids over the last two weeks, winning back-to-back games on game-winning shots as time expired to defeat both Central Catholic (56-53) and Phillipsburg (63-62) within 48 hours of each other.
But Parkland was on the other end of a close game last Tuesday, falling by three points to Northampton. It was the second East Penn Conference loss out of the Trojans’ first three games this season, leaving them in need of some league wins to keep pace in the competetive Skyland Division.
It is unfamiliar territory when the Parkland ice hockey team experiences a loss in Lehigh Valley Scholastic Ice Hockey League play. But that happened earlier this season back in October, and the team that gave the Trojans their first league loss in years was staring at them across the ice again Monday evening.
And once again Freedom got the better of Parkland, scoring five unanswered goals in the third period to take down the Trojans 5-1 last Monday night at Lehigh Valley Ice Arena.
Sophomore Trey Rolle wasn’t even expecting to play on varsity, let alone start his first career game last Friday night before showing up to the locker room.
But the young Trojan wiped away any jitters early on and hit what could turn out to be the biggest shot of his career, nailing a three-pointer as time expired to give Parkland an important 56-53 victory over Central Catholic in Eastern Pennsylvania Conference action at Parkland High School.
The Emmaus boys basketball team has had trouble knocking off Parkland over the course of the last five-plus years, as have most teams in this area.
But the Green Hornets had a fast start against the Trojans in Tuesday’s East Penn Conference opener and never looked back. They opened a 16-2 lead in the first quarter on their way to a 63-50 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference victory over the Trojans last Tuesday night at Emmaus High School. It was the Hornets’ first victory over Parkland since Dec. 20 of 2016.
Last season was the first time in seven years that the Parkland boys basketball team did not reach the District 11 championship game. Parkland had won five straight districts crowns and was in seven of the last 10 finals before last season.
Parkland finished the 2017-18 campaign at 12-12 overall and 9-7 in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, dropping both of its postseason games. The Trojans lost to Bethlehem Catholic in the EPC tournament and to Northampton in the District 11 Class 6A Quarterfinals.
The accolades and honors kept coming in this season for the Parkland girls volleyball team. A few weeks after the 2018 campaign ended for the District 11 Class 4A champion Trojans, head coach Mike Krause one of four coaches in the region, and one of 40 overall throughout the country, as a coach of the year, voted on by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
For the first two periods the game was close, but in the final period the Parkland ice hockey team showed its strength and scoring ability by netting five third-period goals and six in row to take down Easton 10-3 last Monday night at Lehigh Valley Ice Arena in Lehigh Valley Scholastic Ice Hockey action.
It is the third straight win for the Trojans, who are now 6-1 overall.
Parkland never trailed, but still was challenged for a majority of the first two periods and into the third.
The Parkland girls volleyball team may not have looked the part early in the 2018 season, but it began to play its best volleyball within the last month of the season when it mattered most. That continued into the postseason.
The District 11 Class 4A champion Trojans played good volleyball in both the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference playoffs and district tournament.
The Parkland girls volleyball team has been playing its best volleyball recently and at the right time.
The Trojans were too much for Emmaus as they swept the Hornets by scores of 25-17, 25-19 and 27-25 last Thursday night at Catasauqua High School in the District 11 Class 4A final.
It is the fifth consecutive district championship for Parkland, as it defeated Emmaus for the second time this season and became just the second team all year to beat the Hornets in straight sets.