Methac­ton ral­lies past Soud­er­ton in dis­tricts

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - OPINION - By An­drew Mar­cus

The Methac­ton gym was packed to the ceil­ing for the Warriors’ District One Class AAAA boys bas­ket­ball sec­ond-round game against Soud­er­ton Tues­day night. There was scream­ing and clap­ping, boo­ing and cheers. There were whis­tles and horns — ev­ery­thing ex­pected from a play­off at­mos­phere.

Adren­a­line and de­ter­mi­na­tion played a big role with a state play­off berth in the bal­ance. Com­po­sure was para­mount.

Af­ter the sixth-seeded WDr­riRrV PiVVHG WKHir firVW foul shot, they re­fo­cused and made the fol­low­ing 15 at­tempts — in­clud­ing 10 in WKH finDO TuDrWHr — KHOSinJ them edge the No. 11 In­di­ans 54-45.

Methac­ton (22-4) now trav­els to third-seeded GrHDW VDOOHy IRr WKH TuDrWHrfinDO PDWcKuS )riGDy. The In­di­ans (16-8) host No. 14 Cen­tral Bucks South — which lost 60-57 in over­time to Great Val­ley Tues­day — in a ninth-place SODy­bDcN JDPH )riGDy.

“We got down and our guys hung in there,” Warriors coach Jeff Der­s­tine said. “We em­pha­sized SODy­inJ IRur TuDrWHrV DnG we were able to make enough plays down the stretch.”

The In­di­ans held a 3731 ad­van­tage head­ing into WKH IRurWK TuDrWHr bHKinG the sen­sa­tional shoot­ing of se­nior John Kanas. AfWHr PiVVinJ KiV firVW WwR shots on the night, the JuDrG GrDinHG WKH nHxW fivH. Kanas hit six three-point­ers and had 24 points af­ter WKrHH TuDrWHrV.

“We beat them ear­lier and we knew they wanted to get back at us,” Kanas said. “They played packed-in de­fense and I wanted them (to) re­spect our shot. They got VRPH TuHVWiRnDbOH cKDrJH calls. It is frus­trat­ing. I don’t know what else to say.”

As Kanas watched the Warriors rally back with an 8-0 run, a few whis­tles un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally got un­der his skin. An of­fen­sive charge call on the In­di­ans’ Bren­dan Wag­ner wDV PDGH wRrVH wiWK WKH firVW tech­ni­cal foul call on Kanas. AIWHr 0DWW )Rr­rHVW KiW bRWK KiV foul shots the Warriors led 3735 and never looked back.

Kanas picked up a sec­ond tech­ni­cal foul a few min­utes later and was done for the night as the game headed inWR WKH finDO fivH Pin­uWHV. The se­nior’s ejec­tion forces KiP WR PiVV )riGDy’V JDPH against the Ti­tans.

“We lost our com­po­sure,” In­di­ans coach Pete Chimera said. “There was a chain of events that were out of our con­trol. We were do­ing great, run­ning our stuff, and it seems like the big turn­around was the of­fen­sive foul on Wag­ner.”

The In­di­ans have not played with­out Kanas on WKH flRRr RIWHn WKiV VHDVRn, but had to do so in the big­gest game of the sea­son. Se­nior Dan O’Hara came off the bench and a three-point play brought the In­di­ans back to within one point, but that was as close as the Big Red came. The In­di­ans shot 3-IRr-11 in WKH finDO TuDrWHr. Be­hind Kanas in scor­ing wDV WDJnHr, wKR finiVKHG with nine points and three re­bounds.

“I thought Bren­dan did a nice job,” Chimera said. “With­out Kanas we drew up things for Bren­dan and things for Austin (Murphy). We tried to get them go­ing, but Methac­ton did nice a job. We have to fig­urH iW RuW TuicN bHcDuVH )riGDy wH KDvH WR SODy with­out him.”

Wag­ner bat­tled foul trou­ble all game, as he was given the task of shut­ting down Warriors’ lead­ing scorer, se­nior Bren­dan Casper. Casper scored six points early and 10 in WKH finDO TuDrWHr DV KH finiVKHG wiWK 22 SRinWV DnG 10 re­bounds.

The Warriors did enough GHIHnVivHOy WR finG D wDy to make the con­tin­u­ous mo­men­tum shifts stop in their fa­vor. There is noth­ing the Warriors have not seen yet, and that is what has them ex­cited mov­ing for­ward.

“Our kids chip away,” Der­s­tine said. “Dil­lan Alde­fer came in and gave us huge spark with loose balls and re­bounds. It in­spired our JuyV DnG firHG uV uS. 7KH IRurWK TuDrWHr JRW crDzy, buW we stayed com­posed and made plays. I was proud of our guys.”

For Mont­gomery Me­dia / MARK C. PSORAS

Soud­er­ton’s Bren­dan Wag­ner col­lides with Methac­ton de­fender An­thony O’Brien dur­ing a shot at­tempt dur­ing Tues­day’s District One Class AAAA play­off game.

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