Pitching will win a lot of games for a team. Nowhere does pitching play a bigger role than in the postseason of Legion play. The schedule becomes very cramped, with some teams having to play five straight days. When you combine that with the innings limits that are imposed on pitchers, teams are often stretched on pitching.
That’s where South Parkland had a distinct advantage this season, thanks to a roster full of promising young pitchers. The team used eight different starters during the regular season, with five of those pitchers starting multiple games for the Trojans.
With the growing phenomenon that AAU basketball is, the high-profile showcase tournaments, where players can be scouted by college coaches, have been a must-attend for prospects that want to play college basketball. These events happen on many different weekends during the summer months, mostly in July. That has hurt local teams from the Lehigh Valley when it comes to the two major basketball tournaments that the District 11 teams are able to showcase their teams and what they will look like come the winter season.
Sometimes, it seems like the more you beat a team, the tougher it gets to keep beating them. That was the case for South Parkland, which won both regular season games against Northern Valley and then beat the Chargers again in the Lehigh Valley Legion League playoffs. Unfortunately for the Trojans, Northern Valley returned and take two straight from the Trojans to win their first LVL Championship since 2011.
North Parkland’s hopes for a return trip to regionals were dashed by a loss to West Allentown, giving the Buffaloes their second loss in the double-elimination playoffs for the Lehigh Valley Legion League championship.
The Buffaloes, who came into the playoffs as the number-three seed, won their first-round game against Lower Macungie, but then lost to rival South Parkland, sending them into the loser’s bracket and the meeting with West Allentown.
The Buffaloes finished the regular season at 11-7.
AAU basketball is not just a huge phenomenon for high school boys anymore, it has begun to grow more and more popular in the girls game, too.
That was evident in the Parkland girls basketball roster at the 21st annual Stellar “Catch A Rising Star” Showcase Tournament at Cedar Beach last weekend. Head coach Wes Spence has always had to deal with his players being multi-sport athletes, but even more so this year, he dealt with key personnel missing due to AAU tournaments.
The cards were stacked against the North Parkland knee-hi baseball team. But despite the odds, North Parkland finds itself as one of the final two teams playing for a Lehigh Valley Little Baseball League Knee-Hi championship.
North Parkland advanced to that title game after its 6-0 shutout victory over rival South Parkland on Tuesday evening at Wehr’s Dam. It was a six-inning, scoreless effort from ace Drew Sorrentino and relief pitcher Ryan Correll closed it out in the seventh inning.
One couldn’t tell the Parkland and Liberty boys basketball teams that last Thursday night’s game was just a summer league game. The two teams battled all game and into an extra frame in the regular season finale of the Stellar Summer League at Cedar Beach Park. The Trojans were the only team to score in overtime, and took the game 66-64.
Rising junior Jake Bartholomew led the way with a team-high 19 points. Senior Sam Iorio tacked on 16 points, and classmate Michael Zeky added 10 for the hot-shooting Trojans, who hit 12 three-pointers in the game.
South Parkland finished just one game behind regular season champion Coplay-Fullerton in the Lehigh Valley Legion standings, but the Trojans had their shot at first place right down to the final day of the season.
The two teams met last Friday to complete a suspended game from earlier in the year and then play a full game to wrap up the schedule. South Parkland (13-5) was only able to split the two games, leaving it just shy of first place and the number-two seed for this week’s legion playoffs.
Lehigh Valley’s Carpenter Cup softball team ended its Carpenter Cup Softball Classic run last week with a 2-1 loss in 10 innings against Tri-Cape after defeating Chester County 8-3 at FDR Park in Philadelphia.
“Anytime you lose it hurts, and to lose in walk-off fashion, twice, but I’m proud of them,” said Lehigh Valley coach Blake Morgan. “They made relationships that will last. They represented the community well, they were blessings.”
Tri-Cape scored one run in the first inning and held Lehigh Valley scoreless until the top of the seventh.
Rising senior Sam Iorio walked off the court last Wednesday in the final minutes after being subbed out. Parkland was already well out in front of Emmaus when the Trojans’ leader exited.
That’s been a familiar scene for Parkland this summer.
The Trojans beat Emmaus 65-37 last week at Parkland High School. Iorio scored 15 while Jake Bartholomew added a team-high 16 points in the rare Wednesday summer league game that was a make up date for a previously postponed contest.