Another year, another championship for the Parkland ice hockey team.
Eric Johannes and Joseph Bantseev each tallied two goals, and Gus Schwartz and Timmy Doe both added a goal apiece in a 6-2 Trojans win over the Diocese team in game two of the best-of-three championship series last Thursday night at the Lehigh Valley Ice Arena. Parkland won 10-2 in game one over the team consisting of players from Bethlehem Catholic, Central Catholic and Notre Dame (Green Pond) high schools.
Basketball started at a young age for junior forward Sam Iorio. It was not only taught to him once he was able to walk, the sport was also in his blood.
Iorio’s grandfather played hoops at Villanova University, and his father Mike was a college basketball player at Philadelphia University and went on to be the head coach of the Lehigh Carbon Community College men’s team.
Parkland boys basketball fans were treated to a thriller just three weeks ago, when the Trojans beat Imhotep Charter 89-85 in a nonconference, three-overtime classic at Parkland High School.
And last Friday night at Liberty High School, Lehigh Valley hoops fans were treated to one of the best games this year as Parkland outlasted Allen 82-74 in overtime for the Trojans’ second straight Eastern Pennsylvania Conference championship.
Another year, another one seed in the District 11 4A tournament for the Parkland boys basketball team. For the third time in a row, the Trojans (22-3) are the top seed and will look to bring home an unprecedented fourth straight district title.
Parkland has won 20 games in a row after a thrilling 82-74 win over Allen in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference final last Friday night.
Who would’ve known that back in 2004-05, the future of Parkland boys basketball was auditioning for what was to come, winning games and titles well before they hit the court at Parkland High School.
The 5th and 6th grade Parkland Youth Center team featured future Trojan players like Nick Rindock, Justin Zajko, Jimmy Hahn and Austin Beidelman back then. They won all but a few games and four league titles before their freshman years (Beidelman was one year older than the other three).
Rising senior Devante Cross has his fair share of gold medals. He is a multiple league and district champion in football and basketball, going a perfect 6-for-6 in earning District 11 titles for both sports combined. But heading into his final year of high school sports, Cross wants more for his teams.
"Winning league and district titles has just become another year for us at Parkland," Cross said. "We want more. We expect more. We expect to be there in the end, but we want to make it further in states. That is something we are pushing harder than ever for this year."
Parkland rising senior Siena Salvaggio had a year that many high school student-athletes would love to have. Starting in the fall, Salvaggio was a striking force at the net as an outside hitter for the 2014 state champion Trojan volleyball team. A few months later, she took the stand as a state champion in the pool for the 50- and 100-yard freestyle.
Salvaggio was also voted the Parkland Press Female Athlete of the Year for the 2014-15 season.
The two prominent high school boys summer league tournaments were unkind to the Parkland boys basketball team in terms of championships. The Trojans lost in the final of the Stellar tournament to Archbishop Carroll and fell in the semifinal of Sportsfest to eventual champ Nazareth.
But Parkland ended its summer on a high note, bringing home the Stellar/Allentown Summer League title two weeks ago, defeating Bangor 59-37 at Cedar Beach Park.
Another weekend, another prominent summer tournament championship for the Parkland girls basketball team.
A week after brining home the Stellar Tournament title, the Trojans were back at it, this time coming in first place in the Sportsfest A-town Throwdown Tournament last weekend at Cedar Beach Park.
In advancing to the championship game on Sunday evening, Parkland took down Dunmore, Notre Dame (Green Pond) and Northwestern in the single-elimination style format. The opening three days were round robin pool play. Parkland was unbeaten in their group.
Summer league basketball is not always kind to coaches, players or fans. With AAU, camps and vacations, sometimes numbers are scarce. That's what happened last weekend for the Parkland boys basketball team.
Missing Kyle Stout all weekend because of injury, and Kenny Yeboah to a football camp at Wake Forest University, the Trojans fell to Nazareth in the semifinals, and were unable to defend their SportsFest A-town Throwdown title.