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Meeker leads PHS to win

The Parkland High School boys basketball team has been looking for a spark offensively. Head coach Andy Stephens has been hoping for more players to step up and be able to score. Junior Will Meeker, who has steadily improved his game since the start of the regular season, made a leap forward to becoming one of those guys that can be looked to in the score column.

Meeker, who has become known for his outside shooting ability, showed that off in the Trojans’ most recent game. He went 5-for-6 from the field with three 3-pointers after halftime, and scored a career-high 17 points in leading Parkland (5-3 overall, 5-2 EPC) to a 60-51 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference win over Central Catholic Monday night at Rockne Hall.

The win eased some of the pain felt in Parkland’s close loss to Southern Lehigh (55-52) last Friday, and amassed some revenge on the Vikings after losing to them on Parkland’s home floor in the season opener.

“We passed the ball well, played stellar defense and shot the ball well,” said Meeker. “This one definitely meant a lot coming off our loss to Southern Lehigh. We definitely needed to bounce back.”

Stephens isn’t surprised by Meeker’s breakout game.

“He loves to be in the gym,” Stephens said. “He’s always there early. He always stays late and he has improved so much since last year. He can really shoot.”

Parkland led 14-11 after the opening quarter before Central stormed back. The Vikings (9-3, 5-2) led 22-17 with three minutes left in the second quarter, but the Trojans scored the last five points of the half to tie it.

It was more back-and-forth in the third quarter, with Parkland holding a 40-37 advantage heading into the final frame. Meeker’s back-to-back 3-pointers early in the fourth, opened a 48-41 lead. Nick Coval connected on two free throws to make it 50-41 with 4:02 left and Central was unable to get closer than eight for the remainder of the game.

Coval tallied 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor, and also added seven assists. Jake Mclean recorded 11 points and Trey Rolle added seven points for the Trojans. Parkland, overall, shot 22-of-38 from the field and had 14 assists as a team.

“For us to have success later on, a guy like Will Meeker is going to have to play like that,” Stephens said. “We made some changes are our last game and we have guys who can rebound and defend, but we need to have good shooters on the floor with teams packing it in on us.”

Parkland remains on the road for two more games, at Nazareth Thursday and at rival Emmaus on Saturday afternoon. The Trojans host Emmaus and Dieruff next week to conclude the regular season before the District 11 tournament.

PRESS PHOTO BY ALAN ZUZIC Parkland's JT Siggins starts a fast break during an early-season game against Whitehall.