The Boyertown Area Times
Perk Valley slams Spring-Ford to win PAC championship
Perkiomen Valley jumped on SpringFord right from the start on Wednesday night and never let up, rolling to a 51-26 win and the Pioneer Athletic Conference girls basketball championship on its home court.
Quinn Boettinger hit shots from inside and outside to score a game-high 18 points for the No. 1 seed Vikings (23-1), Grace Galbavy followed with 12 points and Bella Bacani scored nine. Anna Azzara led the No. 3 Rams (21-4) with 13 points.
Perk Valley hit a high percentage of its shots in the first two quarters and rebounded most of the misses while building a 27-17 advantage at the half. But it was the Vikings’ stifling defense throughout the contest - especially while allowing only nine points in the second half – that nailed down their first PAC title in seven years.
“Incredible,” Boettinger said. “It feels absolutely amazing. Incredible and every synonym for amazing.”
“It feels amazing,” Bacani added. “Especially here on your own court. It feels great to win a PAC championship.”
Bacani knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the circle to close out a 16-10 PV first quarter and the Vikings grabbed four offensive rebounds in the second quarter to expand the lead. It was 33-22 after three when Boettinger put in a layup at the buzzer.
Azzara scored to start the fourth, reducing the lead to single figures for what turned out to be the final time for the night. But Perk Valley countered with a layup by Boettinger, a basket on a break by Bacani and two free throws by Boettinger.
Then Lena Stein (7 points) stole the ball, raced the length of the court and wound up with a 3-point play for an insurmountable 44-24 advantage with 3:18 to play.
“Our goal is defense first, obviously, and we build off of that,” Vikings coach John Russo said. “If we can keep them under 35 points, we’re sure we’re going to get more than 35.”
“It’s just playing as a team,” Galbavy said concerning the defensive effort. “Same with the offense. We have five people who can play offensively and defensively.”
In addition to allowing only 10 field goals, the Vikings gave the Rams just four free throws.
“It was almost a mirror from the last game here (a 44-37 PV win two weeks ago),” Spring-Ford coach
Mickey McDaniel said. “They started off shooting well and they never stopped and put us in a hole we couldn’t get out of. They did a really good job mixing their defenses tonight and didn’t give us a lot of room. That’s a credit to their preparation.”
“We were mixing it up,” Bacani said. “We were talking really well and when we went to man-toman, we played really, really hard.”
The Vikings also won the rebounding battle 3217, including six each by Boettinger and Galbavy.
“Offensive rebounding,” Boettinger said. “That was probably the best offensive rebounding we’ve seen by our team all year. If we miss, we have a second opportunity.”
Last season, the Rams beat the Vikings by a 4336 score in the final for their fifth straight PAC title, adding to PV’s desire to win this time around.
“None of us really knew how to react after that one,” Boettinger said. “We knew we were hosting PACs this year. It’s our court. We had to defend our home.”
“Them beating us last year gave us a lot of motivation,” Bacani added. “We had to come out hard and keep working.”
And then there was also the motivation for the Vikings to prove that they are on the same level as the Rams.
“They’re the standard. We all know that,” Russo said. “We were trying to get to their level and I think this game we finally got to their level.”
“We won respect tonight,” Galbavy said. “That was the whole goal. It’s surreal. It’s the best feeling in the world.”
Both teams will have byes in the opening round of the District 1 Class 6A playoffs on Friday and host games next Wednesday. Perkiomen Valley is ranked No. 1 and SpringFord No. 6.
“We’re just going to celebrate and then look forward to districts,” Galbavy said. “I have high hopes for this team. I’m really excited.”
“They wanted it,” McDaniel said. “They were relentless for 32 minutes. We have to get back to basics for districts.”