Warriors need 2 OTs to down Phantoms

Photo by Barry Taglieber phoenixville's Rasheed Lawson moves to the basket as Methacton's Matt Carroll.

GRATERFORD - The first half of Thursday night's game belonged to host Perkiomen Valley.

The second half of the boys basketball game turned to Phoenixville.

However, the Vikings held on for the victory, 66-61, in a Pioneer Athletic Conference contest.

Mike Bukata paced the Vikings with a game-high 24 points. He netted 15 points in the opening quarter as the Vikings (7-5) broke out to a 40-15 halftime lead.

PV proceeded to avenge a 25-point loss to the Phantoms (7-4 PAC-10, 8-7 overall) in their first-half meeting at Phoenixville.

Jeff Scholl came off the bench to score 13 points for the Vikes, who led 28-12 after the first eight minutes of action.

"They (Vikings) wanted it way more than we did," said Phoenixville coach Bill Detweiler. "We are having trouble with focus now.

"The second half of the PAC-10 is land mines everywhere. (Perkiomen Valley) team is so improved. They are playing hard. In every facet of the game in the first half, they beat us."

Detweiler praised PV coach Jim Genuardi for the job he is doing with the Vikings. Both teams are fighting for Final Four playoff berths.

The Phantoms did fight back with a 46-26 second half. Chris Ellis led the Phantoms with 17 points while Drew McCall had 16, Ryan Thomas 13 and Alex Johnson 11.

Phoenixville struggled shooting against PV's matchup zone in the first half, finishing 4-for-27 from the floor. The Phantoms did recover to shoot 18-for-35 in the second half.

"We had a big lead," Genuardi said. "We had them on their heels and they were not making shots. They (Phantoms) gave us a run, and we shot 13-for-21 at the foul line.

"That puts you in a hole and on the defensive. They got excited and hit a couple shots. All of a sudden it was a game. It was a 30-point turnaround. They beat us by 25 the first time so we are pretty pleased about that."

The Vikings led 52-33 after three quarters. The Phantoms began the fourth period with a 12-0 spurt to cut the gap to eight points at 52-44. Later, an Ellis rebound made it 57-54, but the Vikings retaliated with two foul shots by Bukata at 3:17 and a layup by Matt Panzarella (eight points).

Ellis made a baseline shot and Thomas a steal and layup to bring the Phantoms back again. A three-point play by Ellis at 1:39 made it 62-61, but the Vikings answered with two foul shots by Ryan Casey and two more by Scholl. The Phantoms missed a couple of shots in the final 30 seconds in an attempt to tie or win the game.

"We thought we could just show up and win the game," Detweiler said. "That is not the way it is in the PAC-10. If we played the way we did in the second half, we win easy. But give them credit."

Detweiler said the "clock is ticking" on his team in the playoff chase. He said a team like Perkiomen Valley could pass the Phantoms if they do not wake up soon.

The Vikings' D.J. Angeloni scored nine points before fouling out with 4:11 left in regulation time. The Phantoms lost McCall at the 3:49 mark and Krestin Johnson came off the bench down the stretch. PV's Jeff Doyle hurt his hand early in the game, but Scholl filled the spot well.

"It was a good team effort," Genuardi said. "We played 10 guys who are pulling for everybody."

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Phoenixville's girls dropped a 57-33 verdict to Perkiomen Valley in the first game of Thursday night's doubleheader.

Jamie Syrylo led the Phantoms with nine points on three 3-point field goals while Ashley Habbel and Brandi Bearden each dropped seven points. Michelle Wisla was high for the Vikings with 19 and Christine Godby followed with 10.

Spring-Ford's girls picked up a 47-41 overtime victory over Boyertown. Kali Schloth (14) and Jill Boyer (10) were high for the Rams, who outscored the Bears 8-2 in the extra period.

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