ROYERSFORD >> David Duda drowned out every word from the Spring-Ford student section on Thursday night.
“‘Duda!’” called out Ram Nation from the stands. “‘We know you can hear us!’”
Yet Methacton’s do-it-all guard let his teammates answer the call on this particular night.
Junior center Jeff Woodward dominated the paint where he racked up 20 points while junior guard Erik Timko scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Warriors to a 69-50 win over Spring-Ford.
With the result, Methacton (2-1 overall) improves to 2-0 in the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s Liberty Division while Spring-Ford (1-3 overall) drops to 0-2 coming off Tuesday’s overtime loss against Norristown.
Duda, the now senior guard who had torched Spring-Ford for 82 points in three games last season (including a 38-point showing in the PAC championship game), was held in check with a constant elbow in his chest and hand in his face throughout Thursday night’s matchup. For the game, he was limited to six points, his lowest outing since early last season.
Cue Woodward in the paint and Timko on the outside.
“We knew they were going to take someone away, whether it was Dave or one of our other shooters,” said the 6-6 Woodward. “This game, they decided they were gonna take Dave away. Them doing that, it relieves pressure of the double teams on me. I don’t know really anyone who can guard me single-handedly one-on-one in the post.”
The Warriors trailed 26-19 with two minutes left in the opening half before ending the quarter on an eight-point run to bring a 27-26 lead into the locker room. From there, Methacton was humming in the second half as they continued their run and carried a 22-2 scoring advantage into that frame and eventually extended the lead to 41-28.
Woodward exploited his matchup advantage, especially in the second half where he scored 16 of his points with a pair of huge dunks as Methacton pulled away for good.
“We really got into the pick-and-roll, especially in that third quarter when they (Spring-Ford) went small,” said Woodward. “They had (Noah) Baker and one of the smaller forwards switching on me. You just put them in pick-and-roll, and you’re gonna get your man sealed or you’re gonna get the guard a wide open shot. It’s just that threat that works for us.”
When it wasn’t Woodward bulling his way in the paint, it was Timko on the kick outs as he scored 15 of his points in the second half. Timko knocked down three 3-pointers on the game en route to his season high in scoring.
“They were really focused on making it tough for Duda to score and Erik Timko really stepped up and put the ball in the basket,” said Methacton head coach Jeff Derstine. “That’s what we said — teams are really going to focus on taking David out of it, so we’ve got to have guys step up. That was Erik tonight.
“And I’ve got to give credit to Dave, too. He was doing a great job of screening for Erik tonight. He knows that teams are trying to take him out of it and that will open some things up. He’s a team guy and he did a great job for us.”
Spring-Ford senior forward Noah Baker did his best to keep the Rams in it.
For the game, Baker finished with a team-high 14 points and scored 11 of his team’s 13 points late in the third quarter. Senior center Robert Bobeck had Woodward sized up in the early going and finished with 10 points while senior guard Ryan Hagan scored eight.
Coming off a third straight loss, Spring-Ford head coach Chris Talley and the Rams will use the weekend to get back on track.
“We’re just at the point right now where we’re still trying to find our identity, still trying to find our rotation” said Talley. “I just don’t think we competed in that second half. They ended the first half on a run. I don’t think we came out ready to match their identity in the second half. That was the difference.”
Up Next >> Methacton will look to keep rolling with a matchup against Neumann-Goretti on Saturday at Archbishop Wood while Spring-Ford will host Boyertown on Tuesday night.
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