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Mclean, Trojans top Emmaus

Senior forward Jake Mclean of the Parkland High School boys basketball team makes the most of opportunities that are given to him. In his second full year on the varsity team, Mclean has only started a handful of games, but the effort and energy he brings to the court provides head coach Andy Stephens and his team the exact production every team wants from someone that comes off the bench.

Mclean entered the Trojans’ latest game midway through the opening quarter and immediately contributed to their cause on both ends of the court.

Mclean’s nine points and six rebounds helped fuel his team to a 51-36 victory over rival Emmaus last Monday afternoon inside Parkland High School in an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference game.

It was the fourth consecutive win for the Trojans and sixth in the last seven games.

“It’s been a crazy year, but a good year,” said Mclean. “I just try to do what I can do to the best of my ability when I’m on the floor. It’s not always about scoring or rebounding, just doing what you can and working hard.

“I just want to be a good teammate and help our team win. Whatever I can do along the way to help that is fine with me.”

In a low-scoring first quarter, the Trojans (8-3 overall, 7-3 EPC) led 11-9 at the buzzer, and then held a 26-14 advantage at halftime. They took over the game in the third quarter, outscoring the Green Hornets 19-7 in the frame. Parkland’s defense held Emmaus (2-7) to single-digit scoring in each of the first three quarters.

“We just had to know who could shoot and who couldn’t shoot and know what to do from there,” Mclean said. “Just make sure to play good help defense. I wanted to make sure I didn’t leave any second chance points out there for them and to rebound well. We work really hard on defense at practice and that showed itself today.”

The Trojans did not have the best shooting night from the floor either, but won the game with their defense. Mclean and Matt Rantz combined for seven blocks and Parkland forced 11 Emmaus turnovers.

Parkland hosted Dieruff earlier this week in the final regular season contest before opening up district play in the Class 6A tournament in early March.

“We’re super excited to be able to play some postseason games,” said Mclean. “And to be on a win -streak like we are now is good for morale. I think our team knows what we do well and what we can accomplish. We’re a good team, but we can’t overlook anyone because every game is a grind and everyone else has the same goal as us.”

PRESS PHOTO BY LINDA ROTHROCK Parkland senior Jake Mclean (right) scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds in Monday's win over Emmaus.