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Ramchandani’s late 3 sends Souderton past Methacton

FRANCONIA >> Missing a shot was not going to deter Kavi Ramchandani from attempting another.

With the Souderton boys basketball team trailing Methacton 40-39 late in the fourth quarter, Ramchandani’s foul-line jumper could not connect.  But then Andrew Vince tracked down the offensive rebound and found Ramchandani open on the 3-point arc.

“First off, it was a wide open look, so when I see a wide-open look I just have that confidence to pull the trigger,” Ramchandani said. “But regardless if it was contested, just in practice my shot was feeling, hit a couple threes in the half, so I just was kind of feeling my shot.”

The senior buried the triple from the wing in the final minute and the Indians held on to edge the visiting Warriors 42-40 for a non-league victory Tuesday night.

“Love that confidence from Kav,” Souderton coach Tim Brown said. That was exactly what we wanted to see from him. He knows that we want him to shoot the ball, his teammates want him to shoot the ball. He’s just getting used to this new role from him. He’s doing it well so far. Good to see, good to see from him.”

Ramchandani finished with a game-high 16 points, hitting four 3-pointers – three after halftime.

“I think we stepped it up, the focus on defense,” Ramchandani said. “Me, personally, I had a couple slipups like focus-wise throughout the game, I kind of just locked down. We knew we really wanted to win this game.”

Trevor Watts added 14 points as the Indians (2-1) won their second straight.

“He is just a sparkplug,” said Brown of Watts. “He’s just a great energy guy. He gets our guys going, he calms up down when we need to be calmed down. He really does everything for us, so we love having him, he’s a tough kid.”

Methacton (1-1) had the lead for most of the game, but Souderton hung around and opened the fourth quarter with a six straight points, the first four from Watts while a Stephen Luchansky jumper made it 36-32.

“We kind of go into every game with that grit and hard work cause obviously we understand we’re not the most talented team out there,” Ramchandani said. “So a lot these teams, the talent difference is not that different so if you outwork a team it gives you a good position to win the game.”

Marcus Girardo pulled the Warriors within 36-35 with his three-point play with 3:30 remaining. After Jeff Woodward, who paced Methacton with 14 points, missed a pair at the foul line at 2:45, Ramchandani connected from three for a 39-35 Souderton lead.

But then Woodward scored inside and David Duda knocked down a three off an Indians turnover and Methacton was up 40-39 with 1:20 to go.

“That was definitely a tough one to take,” Brown said. “But we’ve been a team that’s kind of swayed by emotional plays and plays in general, but the past couple games, we’ve really done a good job of just keeping it even keel and positive stuff, negative stuff we just do us, which has been great to see.”

Ramchandani proceeded to hit his second-chance trey for a two-point Big Red edge. Woodward couldn’t connect on two chances inside. The Warriors had to foul four times before sending Watts to the line for a 1-and-1 with 5.0 seconds left.

Watts missed the front end, Woodward grabbed the rebound and got the ball to Brett Eberly, who raced down the right sideline and got off a three attempt before the buzzer, but the effort went long and Souderton was over .500 for the first time since beating Methacton last season to be 3-2.

“We got to keep teams under 45, we got to outrebound teams, we got to be the gritty, grindy team if we want to get to where we want to get to,” Brown said. “But we showed that so far. So we just go to keep doing it.”

Souderton takes on another PAC side Thursday as it hosts Phoenixville at 5 p.m. The Indians then start Suburban One League Continental Conference play Tuesday on the road against Central Bucks South.

Tuesday was the first of three games in three days for Methacton. The Warriors visit Pennridge 7 p.m. Wednesday – a game rescheduled from last Saturday –  then began their league schedule at Boyertown 7 p.m. Friday.

Watts’ jumper opened scoring but that was it for the Indians in the first quarter as Methacton led 8-2 after eight minutes.

Big Red finally got a few shots to fall in the second quarter and pulled level twice – the last time at 12-12 – before a Noah Kitaw three and Woodward bucket made it 17-12 Warriors.

A Kitaw triple had Methacton up 20-14 but the Indians cut the margin to 20-19 at halftime with a Watts basket and three Luchansky free throws after he was fouled on a corner 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds left.

“We weren’t hitting shots early but we had them at eight points at the end of the first and we try to keep teams at 11 or under, so we were happy with our defense,” Brown said. “We knew our shots were going to fall but they did a nice job of not hanging their heads and just continuing to go out what we do and it ended up falling for us and we made some shots eventually.”

Souderton twice took one-point leads in the third before a Duda three made it 30-28 Warriors. A Ramchandani jumper had the Indians even at 30 but Woodward scored inside to give the visitors a 32-30 advantage heading to the fourth.

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