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Boys Basketball: Pioneer Athletic Conference Championship Preview

The Pioneer Athletic Conference boys basketball championship will take place on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Spring-Ford High School as the league’s last two champions, Methacton and Perkiomen Valley, face off.

Methacton defeated Pope John Paul II, 77-49, while Perkiomen Valley picked up a 55-51 overtime win over Norristown in the semifinal round on Friday.

Here is a look at Tuesday’s championship game:

Perkiomen Valley (5) vs Methacton (3), 7 p.m.

Records >> Perkiomen Valley – 7-3 PAC Liberty, 13-3 PAC, 19-5 overall; Methacton – 8-2 PAC Liberty, 14-2 PAC, 19-5 overall

Head-to-head >> On Dec. 18, Perkiomen Valley topped Methacton, 44-39. The Warriors got revenge in the rematch, coming from behind for a 53-51 win on Jan. 19.

Perkiomen Valley sophomore Kameron Parks makes a move in the post against Norristown sophomore Nizer Kinney. (MJ McConney – MediaNews Group)

Playoff history >> Methacton is hoping to secure the PAC’s first back-to-back championships in the last 13 years after knocking off Spring-Ford in last year’s title game. The Warriors have won the league three times since 2012 … This is Perkiomen Valley’s third trip to the league title game in four years. The Vikings have won the PAC title two times, the last coming in 2017 … The two teams have met just one time in the PAC playoffs with Perkiomen Valley topping Methacton, 44-41, in the 2013 championship game.

On Perkiomen Valley >> The Vikings pulled away from Pottsgrove in the opening round of the playoffs before surviving Norristown in overtime for their third championship appearance in four years. Tyler Strechay, the league’s leading scorer, has led the Vikings in scoring in their two playoff wins, totaling 37 points and shooting 56 percent from the floor. Sharpshooter Zach Krause got hot in the second half and finished with 18 points to lead Perkiomen Valley down the stretch against Norristown. All six of his threes in the PAC playoffs have come after halftime. AJ Hansen is a senior point guard who helped charge the Vikings with 13 points in the win over Pottsgrove. Sophomore wing Kameron Parks has come up with a few big baskets for the Vikings during their playoff run, including a huge and-one in overtime over Norristown. Senior forward Ian Streeper, who does the dirty work for the Vikings, rounds out the starting lineup. His brother, Byrce Streeper, is the first one off the bench and also provides the Vikings with length, rebounding and capable passing from the post.

Methacton’s David Duda (10) shoots over Pope John Paul II’s Drew McKeon during their PAC semifinal game Friday at Spring-Ford. (MJ McConney – For MediaNews Group)

On Methacton >> The Warriors powered their way past Spring-Ford (87-51) and Pope John Paul II (77-49) on their way to the championship game and 13 straight wins. Methacton has three of the league’s top scorers in senior David Duda and juniors Erik Timko and Jeff Woodward. Timko, one of the few Methacton players without title game experience, led the Warriors in both playoff wins, totaling 38 points. Woodward, a 6-9 junior, is averaging 19 points and 11.5 rebounds in two playoff games, scoring 21 points and grabbing 23 boards in the semifinal win. Duda’s scoring average (13.8 ppg) is slightly down this season, but he has made 218 3-point shots over the past three seasons, including 72 this year to lead the PAC for the second straight year. Joining them in the starting lineup are junior point guard Brett Eberly, who sets up the offense, and senior forward Ben Christian, who stretches the floor for the Warriors. Senior Marcus Girardo and junior Owen Kropp are Methacton’s top options off the bench.

Matchup >> Methacton has beaten its last 13 opponents by an average margin of more than 23 points per game. The exception has been the Vikings, who came within a desperation shot of either a win or overtime. The Vikings’ rotation has five seniors, while the Warriors return five of the six players who appeared in last year’s championship game, including Duda, who scored 38 points. Perkiomen Valley will run the clock and throw some confusing defensive looks at Methacton, but the Warriors have the offensive firepower to repeat as champions.

Prediction >> Methacton 58, Perkiomen Valley 53

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