It was not like Parkland. Before last year, the boys basketball program had made it to the District 11 final and a spot in the state tournament each of the last six seasons. But last year the Trojans bowed out before the district semifinals.
The Trojans did not stay away long. They’ll return this year after a quarterfinal win put them back in the district’s final four this season.
The Parkland boys basketball team has not been swept in a regular season by Emmaus in quite some time. But the Trojans were on the wrong end of things last Thursday night as the Green Hornets came out on top of the rivalry game 60-51 in Eastern Pennsylvania Conference action at Parkland High School.
Jared Kucharczuk and Jake Melady both recorded double-figures in points for Parkland (13-8 overall, 9-6 EPC), who lost for just the second time in its last five games.
The Parkland boys basketball team was playing its best basketball of the season, sporting a season-long six game win streak entering its weekend game with Freedom.
It looked as if the winning was going to continue as it held a sizeable lead against the Patriots. However, offensive struggles in the final quarter led to a come-from-behind win for Freedom over Parkland, 61-57, last Friday night at Parkland High School in an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference game.
The Parkland ice hockey team was back under the bright lights on the big stage, and it sure did impress. The Trojans scored three goals in the first period and the first seven of the game in defeating Nazareth 7-1 last Monday night at the PPL Center in Lehigh Valley Scholastic Ice Hockey League action.
The win was a welcome sight to a Parkland team that was searching for one after its game last week.
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.