In almost every game of the 2014-15 season, the Parkland boys basketball team was clearly the better of the two teams. Even in a last-second loss to Saint Joe's Prep, their only loss on the year, the Trojans could have seen themselves on the winning end.
But last Wednesday night at Souderton High School, Parkland (28-2) ran into a buzz saw that was Pennsbury High School (24-6).
The Falcons were the better team on the court in every aspect. They were bigger, stronger, faster, and more aggressive on the evening, and took down the District 11 champ 57-41.
Siena Salvaggio turned silver into gold. The Parkland swimmer came home from the PIAA Championship Meet at Bucknell University with two gold medals for her performance in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events after capturing silver in those events last year.
The Parkland girls put on an impressive showing at last weekend's PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships, finishing fifth in the team competition. While Siena Salvaggio led the way with two individual gold medals, there were a number of impressive showings in both individual and relay events.
Senior Erin Jordan, who will be entering the Naval Academy following graduation, finished fifth in the 500 freestyle event, just behind teammate Tori Connolly.
With practices set to begin this week for high school spring sports, athletes are beginning their preparation in hopes of having successful seasons on the field, diamond and track.
But Parkland senior Joey Hawkins, a hurdler on the Trojans' track and field team, has been gearing up for the upcoming high school season during much of the offseason.
The first day of spring, Friday, March 20, is a little more than a week away, but like recent years, high school spring sports teams are in a familiar position as their second week of practice is almost finished.
A late winter with periods of heavy snow have once again caused baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis and track and field teams issues with their outdoor practice schedules that began last Monday, March 2.
The Parkland girls basketball provided its usual balanced scoring attack and strong team approach, but came up on the short end of a 50-34 score against Central Dauphin East in the first round of the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs last Friday night. Erin Bross and Sarah Stagaard each scored seven points for Parkland.
Things started well for the Trojans, who faced a tough full-court press from Central Dauphin East from the outset. The teams were tied 9-9 after the first quarter, but the middle part of the game proved to be the undoing for Parkland.
In the days leading up to their PIAA Class AAAA first-round matchup against District One's eighth-place team, Conestoga, boys basketball head coach Andy Stephens reiterated that this was not an ordinary eighth seed from the district. And they showed why last Saturday afternoon at Allen High School.
The Pioneers entered their conference tournament as the top seed, but lost their way and dropped in the rankings.
Omar Haddad has had a flair for the dramatic during his final wrestling postseason run and stayed on that course Saturday night at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Haddad pulled out a 4-3 victory over Tyler Worthing of Kiski Area to close out his senior season with a third-place finish at 220 pounds at the PIAA Class AAA championships. And he did it in similar fashion en route to his first district and regionals crowns in the weeks leading up to Hershey.
For the third straight season, the Parkland girls will head to the PIAA Tournament, which begins Friday night. The Lady Trojans will play Central Dauphin East Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Lebanon High School.
To make it to states, Parkland had to beat Pocono Mountain West in the District 11 third-place game, which it did last Friday by a score of 47-42.
It was the second win of the season for Parkland over PMW. Parkland used a balanced scoring attack to beat the Panthers. Erin Bross led Parkland with eight points, while Emily Piston scored eight and Sarah Stagaard had seven.
It was a different group of players that took the court at Freedom High School's gymnasium last Saturday night, but they brought home the same result. The Parkland boys basketball team defeated Whitehall 46-38 to win its third consecutive District 11 Class AAAA championship.
It was another game that the Trojans are unaccustomed to, a slow-tempo pace to keep them from doing what they do best. Pocono Mountain West did it to them a week earlier in the quarterfinals, and Saturday night was the fourth time Parkland (27-1) faced the Zephyrs in the last month and a half.