Girls bounce back, beat Nazareth
After a season-opening loss to powerhouse Bethlehem Catholic, the Parkland girls basketball team bounced back nicely to grab a 40-26 win over Nazareth to even its record at 1-1 on the season.
The fact that they were able to shake off that opening loss to Beca was partly because of how the Lady Trojans approached the game coming in, refusing to let any one game define their season.
"We approached the Becahi game as the first game of a 22-game schedule," said Parkland head coach Wes Spence. "Winning wasn't going to accomplish any of our team's season goals and losing was not going to have a devastating impact on the team we want to become. We saw it as an opportunity to see where we measure up against a good basketball team.
"As a coach I took away a lot of positives and even though the scoreboard was not in our favor, we did a number of things well against a quality opponent and we just looked to build on that effort against Nazareth on Tuesday, and in a lot of ways, we did."
Parkland's leader in scoring early in the season is senior Olivia Brown, who has scored 29 points in the team's first two games.
Brown is one of the few players that has plenty of varsity experience and is providing a spark on both ends of the court for Spence, who believes the hard work that Brown and her fellow seniors put in is rubbing off on the rest of the team.
"Olivia is doing a nice job," he said. "She is one of our returning players who has some significant varsity experience and she is really stepping into the role of a team leader well, as are the other seniors Brynne Brouse and Kristen McCarty.
"She is long and athletic on the defensive end and can create steals and turnovers. On offense she has a good outside shot and she can also score around the basket off of penetration and offensive rebounds. She has a great work ethic and wants to improve and be the best player she can be and right now is developing into a nice all-around player."
Spence knew coming into the season that his team is primarily a young team that will rely on the entire roster for contributions. While Brown and the other two seniors may be leading the way, there hasn't been any one player who is taking over the team, but instead, there are a number of players contributing.
"We have played 10 girls in meaningful minutes in both games and I am pleased with all of their contributions," he said. "I am really pleased with how well our point guards Erin Bross and Sam O'Keefe have taken care of the ball on offense. I'm happy with the effort and athleticism from our wing players Olivia Brown, Kristen McCarty, Aubrey Beidelman, Erica Bross and Sarah Stagaard applying defensive pressure and running the floor well in transition.
"Our posts Brynne Brouse, Brooke Robertson and Nadine Ewald have been great on both the offensive and defensive boards and really battled inside defensively against some of the taller and better post players in our league during the first two games."