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Boys basketball team returns four starters

Last March, the Parkland boys basketball team exceeded expectations. After falling to Liberty in the Lehigh Valley Conference final, the Trojans entered the District 11 Class AAAA tournament as a six seed. But three wins later, the run to their first District 11 title since the 2008-09 season came to fruition.

Parkland graduated three seniors, including leading scorer and All-LVC member Austin Beidelman, along with Nate Case and Astin Jones. But this will not be a rebuilding year, as four starters return, along with a vast amount of experience.

Head coach Andy Stephens welcomes back seven seniors. These upperclassmen will be charged with taking a leadership role while helping mold the underclassmen, which make up the majority of the roster.

Jimmy Hahn, Nick Rindock, Nick Selvaggi, and Justin Zajko are returning starters on a team that finished as LVC runners-up, district champs, and won a PIAA state playoff game a year ago.

Alex Mitton and Andrew Lessel also saw time and are senior leaders on the team. Parkland welcomes back another senior, Ryan Keller, who transferred from Pius X.

"Losing those three seniors is huge and it is going to hurt us, but I think what we have going for us this year is our seniors have a lot of ready experience," Stephens said. "Our younger guys are really good too. They are going to push our older guys. They will make each other better and the practices will be a competition."

Some of the younger players that Stephens will look to for contributions include Devante Cross, Nick Hassler, Kevin Delourie, Jack Dreisbach, Justin Jones, Kyle Stout and Sam Iorio.

Once again the goals and expectations are set high. Parkland is viewed as one of the favorites for the league and district titles.

"We always put a little bit more of an emphasis on a district championship," said Stephens. "The way I'll sell it to the kids this year is that we want to put ourselves in a position to win a league championship and a district championship. Even more now that we have a district championship, it's ours, we don't want to lose it."

The Trojans will begin their quest on Saturday, December 7 with a game against Bethlehem Catholic.