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Parkland girls erase early deficit to beat Emmaus

After falling behind early in their recent East Penn Conference game against Emmaus, the Parkland girls basketball team mounted two rallies to overcome a double-digit deficit and head home with a 52-39 win.

Zoe Wilkinson led all scorers with 17 points, while Emmaus’ Sarah Hock finished with 15 for the Lady Hornets.

Early in the game, the Hornets held a distinct advantage in rebounding even though they were outsized by Parkland.

Hoch and teammate Paige Inman were tough on the boards, and it was a big part of Emmaus’ early success in the game.

The Hornets (9-5 overall, 7-3 EPC) went on an early 9-0 run to take an 11-3 lead and stretched their advantage to as many as 11 points by the midway point of the second quarter.

From there, Parkland (8-5, 5-4) began to chip away at the lead and scored the last six points of the first half to make it a 28-25 game.

“The first six minutes we were still struggling,” said Parkland head coach Ed Ohlson. “I have to tip my hat to our girls. We made a lineup change tonight and inserted Lauren Ervin because she is a little taller and we thought she might give them some problems defensively because she has been playing so well for us.

“That meant that Jesse Schmitt and Paige Spang had to take a back seat a little bit and as seniors, that can be tough to swallow, but they both handled it really well and came off the bench and played the game of their lives. They were both super on defense and contributed offensively as well. To me, that’s the most important part of all this.”

Coming out of the locker room, the Hornets were able to discontinue the Parkland rally and swung momentum back to their side of the court to rebuild their lead to nine points at 38-29 by late in the third quarter.

From there though the Parkland defense picked up in intensity and held Emmaus to just one more point over the game’s final 11 minutes. Meanwhile, the Lady Trojans took over in rebounding and their offense picked up to fight back and get the win.

“We have been a little slow over the past couple days and we started out slow tonight, but I finally saw the intensity that we are capable of playing with,” said Wilkinson. “I kind of just got one basket and then another and another and your teammates start getting into it and it’s just go-time from there.

“As a team, we played a great game tonight overall.”

Two days later, Parkland traveled to Stroudsburg and beat the Mounties 61-24 in another EPC matchup.

This time it was sophomore Talia Zurinskas who led the Lady Trojans with 19 points in the game, while fellow sophomore Maddi Siggins finished with 15 points.

On Tuesday night, Parkland ran into Bethlehem Catholic. The Golden Hawks (9-2, 8-0) downed Parkland 43-30 with Siggins again leading the way with 16 points in the game. On the season, Siggins is averaging just under 14 points per game to lead Parkland in scoring.

The Trojans’ remaining schedule features eight league games and one nonleague game. They will round out the season over the next three weeks with games against Whitehall (Friday), Easton (Saturday), Central Catholic (Tuesday, Jan. 25), Allen (Friday, Jan. 28), Pocono Mountain East (Saturday, Jan. 29), Northampton (Tuesday, Feb. 1), Emmaus (Friday, Feb. 4), Spring-Ford (Saturday Feb. 5) and Whitehall (Tuesday, Feb. 7).