ROYERSFORD - Perkiomen Valley topped defending champion Methacton, 44-41, to win the Pioneer Athletic Conference boys basketball championship Tuesday night at Spring-Ford High School’s Ram Gymnasium.
The Vikings, the second seeds from the PAC-10’s Liberty Division, upended the Warriors, the top seeds and unbeaten in the Liberty Division, to punctuate the first season of head coach Mike Poysden. Perkiomen Valley won its first league crown in 11 years.
The Vikings, who began the season at a dismal 2-6, are now 17-7 heading into the District 1-AAAA playoffs.
Perkiomen Valley captured its title while beating Methacton (20-4) in a third try after narrowly missing accomplishing the feat two weeks ago on Methacton’s floor.
Junior point guard Purnell Wilson led the Vikings with 16 points while fellow junior guard Rasaan Stewart deposited 13 points. Wilson shot 5-for-14 from the floor and 6-for-9 at the free throw line. He also had three rebounds, two assists, one blocked shot and one steal.
Stewart, the PAC-10 football Most Valuable Player as a quarterback and defensive back, shot 6-for-13 from the field with one trey and also had four rebounds and one steal. The standout 6-0 athlete also handled the difficult defensive assignment of guarding 6-6 senior forward Brendan Casper well. Stewart pressured Casper into 5-for-14 shooting from the field for 11 points with seven of those markers coming during the fourth quarter.
Casper, a 1,000-point career scorer, did grab a game-high 13 rebounds (11 defensive) to go along with two assists and one block.
The Vikings won with two seniors, three juniors and one sophomore in the rotation. Sharpshooter Steve Leonard and defensive specialist Brett Davis, who made a huge steal at the end of the game to protect the lead, are seniors.l Wilson, Stewart and Mekhi Clemons are juniors, and sixth man Tyler Krause is only a sophomore.
Davis finished with five points, two boards, two assists, one block and the steal. Leonard had a tough shooting night at 2-for-9 for six points with one trey, three boards and one block.
PV shot 17-for-49 (34.7 percent) from the field with 2-for-13 shooting from long distance and 8-for-13 shooting at the foul line. The Vikes were outrebounded, 25-20, but committed just one turnovers as compared to the Warriors’ 10 miscues.
Methacton, coached by Jeff Derstine, shot 17-for-51 (33 percent) from the floor and 2-for-8 from long range with 5-for-7 shooting at the foul line.
The Warriors utilized eight players with three seniors, three juniors and two sophomores in the mix. The seniors are Casper, Matt Forrest and Anthony O’Brien. The juniors are Zach Jenkins, Joe Ruthl and Dillong Alderfer. The sophomores are Justin Ardman and Sean Mann.
Jenkins reached double figures with 10 points on 5-for-11 shooting and also had three boards and one steal. Forrest nailed two treys and seven points with three rebounds.
Methacton had a 11-9 lead after one period and was up 21-20 at halftime. PV went in front 31-30 after three quarters. The Vikings had a 31-25 lead, but the Warriors scored the final five points of the third stanza to trim the deficit.
Casper scored five straight points to start the fourth quarter for a 35-31 Warrior lead, but the Vikes countered with a 6-0 run to to take a 37-35 lead. Leonard buried a triple, Krause hit a putback and Leonard made a free throw to give the Vikes their 37-35 lead with 3:23 left in the fourth.
After a foul shot by Ardman, Stewart converted a drive for a 39-36 lead at 1:51 to force another Methacton timeout.