February 28, 2019
By: Tom Meikrantz
Parkland versus Allen in the District 6A boys championship game? How did this happen? The Trojans went into the tournament as the 7th seed and failed to earn a spot in the EPC tournament after losing four of their last 5 games. The Canaries appeared to be going through a learning curve this season with youth and inexperience dominating head coach Doug Snyder’s roster. In many ways, you could say both teams were just happy to be in the mix and playing with house money. Snyder said in late November that he realistically expected a season around break-even and hoped to sneak into districts so the kids get the post-season experience. Parkland head coach Andy Stephens doesn't have the MVP caliber players from recent years.
But Allen upset the top seed Emmaus 74-64 in the semifinals and Parkland took out #2 Nazareth 64-55 in the quarterfinals before surviving the defending champs East Stroudsburg South and MVP Jeremiah Anderson 52-49 in the semifinals. The Canaries had 4 players score between 17 and 14 points against the Green Hornets which says a lot about sharing the ball. Snyder obviously has a group of good kids who have embraced the team-philosophy from one of the best role models in local coaching.
Stephens said he held a short practice after they didn’t make leagues to get a read on their mind-sets only to learn that they were not hanging their heads but totally focused on playing their best basketball coming out of the layoff from game action. Both teams are winning with depth and different players coming up big in key situations.
Of course, Emmaus-Parkland packed more of a rivalry factor but this is still a title game to look forward to. Let’s hope for a spirited and competitive final Saturday at Freedom.