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