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Parkland girls win two straight games

With a tough early-season schedule, the opening of the basketball season was a difficult one for the Lady Trojans. Since then, there has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride, with two losses followed by four wins before two more losses put the team back at the .500 mark.

Now, two straight wins has the Trojans at 6-4. Tuesday night’s 71-12 win over East Stroudsburg North (0-6 overall, 0-5 East Penn Conference) evened Parkland’s league record at 3-3.

While evening up their league record is nice, Trojan head coach Ed Ohlson felt the win was bittersweet since it was so one-sided.

“I really don’t like games like that,” said Ohlson. “It’s not good for them and their players and it’s not good for us. We got playing time for younger players, but it’s just not a good thing.”

One of the highlights of the season has been the continued development of young players like sophomores Talia Zurinskas and Madie Siggins.

Zurinskas took over as the team’s point guard last season and is averaging 13.8 points per game this season after knocking down 24 against the Timberwolves Tuesday night. Meanwhile, Siggins is averaging 14 points per game and has played strong around the basket.

“Our young players have put in a lot of work, and they keep getting better and better,” Ohlson said. “Talia started a little slow, but she has really come on for us and is playing very well. Madie has really stepped up as well. She has done a really good job of rebounding and matching up against players and is scoring well for us.”

Zurinskas has scored in double figures in four straight games, while Siggins had her streak of seven straight double figure games cracked against East Stroudsburg North.

The one game that Ohlson and the team might want to have back was on a trip to Rockne Hall to play Allentown Central Catholic (8-2, 5-1). The Lady Trojans came out flat and found themselves struggling to catch up against a talented Vikettes squad.

“We had one bad quarter and it hurt us,” said Ohlson. “It was a combination of things that worked against us. The place was full, and it was a girls/boys doubleheader and when we fell behind, we became a little intimidated and were not able to pull ourselves all the way back. We cut the lead to eight late in the game, but that was as close as we were able to get.”

While the upcoming schedule is nowhere near as tough as having to play Northampton (9-2, 5-1) and Nazareth (9-1. 5-1) to open the season, there are some difficult games on the horizon. Thursday Parkland travels down Cedar Crest Boulevard to face Emmaus (8-3, 6-1) before playing in Stroudsburg (2-9, 2-5) on Saturday. The biggest test will be at home against Bethlehem Catholic (6-2, 5-0) on Monday.

The last half of the season is going to be interesting in the EPC. The postseason format calls for eight teams to qualify for the playoffs and there are currently seven teams that are either undefeated or have just one loss. Two other teams are just ahead of Parkland with two losses on the year.

“The EPC is always going to be tough and there are a lot of teams capable of knocking each other off,” said Ohlson. “We just have to keep playing hard and winning games and the see how it all plays out. Emmaus is tough and of course, Bethlehem Catholic is always good. With so much parity in the league you figure that some of the teams ahead of us will pick up a loss or two along the way and so we just have to keep winning.”

PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERB Parkland sophomore Talia Zurinskas scored 24 points against East Stroudsburg North and is averaging 13.8 points per game this season.