Posted on 03 Aug 2021 at 6:40 a.m.
Less than a month ago, the Parkland High School boys’ basketball team won their first championship of the summer, placing first in the Bash at the Beach tournament in late June.
In pursuit of their second title in as many months, the Trojans faced a formidable opponent, Reading, reigning PIAA State Champion Class 6A, in the Lehigh Valley Summer League semifinals last Thursday night at Cedar Beach.
Parkland was the second seed, earning a pass to the semifinals, but fell 58-49 to the third seeded Red Knights. The loss ends a six-game winning streak for the Trojans, who finished 10-2 in the regular standings.
“I thought the last month or so was a great one for the program,” said Parkland head coach Andy Stephens. “We’ve won a lot of games, but overall the guys have improved and gained valuable experience playing in a lot of important games. It will certainly help us when the season arrives this winter. “
The hope for each basketball summer offseason is not only to improve as a team as a whole, but also for younger and more inexperienced players to show what they can do in front of their coaches. Parkland has had a mix of experience and youth that has intensified and led them into games this summer.
Returning starters such as Will Meeker and Nick Coval, as well as newcomers to Kharan Joshi all took their turns and led their team in scoring and also led on the defensive end of the ball.
“Will and Nick have been there and played some big games for us last year,” Stephens said. “They know what is expected and we know what they will bring. It was a great summer for them. Kharan was a nice surprise and really impresses us as a player. He shows what he is capable of and gives himself the opportunity to gain a few minutes now and during the season.
Parkland still has a chance to win a second summer title. The A-town Throwdown event, officially known as SportsFest, takes place this weekend and is the last summer tournament and competition of the year.
The Trojans open the game Friday night at 9 p.m., against Central Bucks West.
Their next two round robin games are on Saturday, starting with a 4 pm game against Octorara, followed by a meeting with St. John V at 7 pm. If they finish at the top of the division, they will advance to the playoffs on Sunday. .
PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERB Parkland’s Jesse Ruisch dribbles around a Reading defenseman during the Summer League Playoffs last week at Cedar Beach.