Team-first mentality carried Methacton to PAC-10 title

GRATERFORD — It’s no secret to why Methacton is good.

Clutch shooting, terrific guard play and a big presence in the paint go a long way in determining that but what Methacton has is much beyond that.

Seven seniors, one team.

Seven seniors, one dream.

Picking apart Methacton’s 73-63 victory over Pottsgrove in the PAC-10 final, there was not one person on the roster that could have been labeled as the difference maker. Four players finished in double-figures, another two had momentous impacts.

It’s been evident all season long. This Warriors’ team has a multitude of ways to beat its opponents and a multitude of players that can carry the torch when called upon.

To seniors Justin Ardman and Chris McCarthy, the collective contributions have only aided them.

“It’s great to have all of us to be able to step in and hit shots,’ McCarthy said. “To have all of us contribute like we did all season makes it extra special.’

“We all know that if one of us is off, we’re able to pick him up because we all have the ability to make plays and it’s good to have that,’ Ardman added. “Knowing that you’re like that is a huge plus.’

In Tuesday night’s PAC-10 championship, the collective scoring presence was in full force. Ardman finished with 24 points while Tom Dyer added 14, McCarthy added 12 and TJ Tornetta 11. Not to be outdone, Derrick Ellis stepped up with three assists and a critical 3-pointer that helped initiate a game-changing fourth quarter swing.”What Derrick does often goes unnoticed if you are a casual spectator, but he’s a huge part of what we do,’ Methacton head coach Jeff Derstine said. “He’s averaging just a couple points a game but his understanding of the game is great and he sees the floor really, really well. He sets up teammates. He’s always looking for what’s best for our team. Because of his unselfishness he doesn’t always look for his shot but he was ready for that one, he stepped in and hit it.’

Ellis’ play was a key reason to the Warriors’ success Tuesday, which helped snap a two-game losing streak that Methacton had in PAC-10 championship games. The Warriors were ousted by Perkiomen Valley and Spring-Ford in consecutive years, making their PAC-10 title this season a little more special.

“I’ve been dreaming of being rushed on the court for weeks,’ senior Erik Marberger said. “So it felt pretty great.’

“Justin and Sean were there as sophomores when we lost to Perk Valley,’ Derstine said. “Most of the other guys were there last year when we lost to an excellent Spring-Ford team. It means a lot. We talked about it, it’s not easy to do (to win a PAC-10 title).’

But because of a core nucleus of seven seniors, the Warriors made it happen, using an early-season loss to Boyertown as a springboard to what they wanted their season to become.

“I think we came in a little bit over our heads after the first couple of games,’ Mann said. “Boyertown had us at our place. They played a heck of a game but after that point we got together, regrouped and everyone stepped up. We had a goal in our sights and tonight we got it. We have to keep it going in districts and hopefully get to states and go from there.’

And with districts coming up, the celebration will be short-lived.

The Warriors have more work to be done, and with a lineup that works as a unit, who knows what could happen next.

“I never played on a team that has the ability to pick up someone else when someone isn’t doing their job,’ Marberger said. “That’s something that not everybody has.

“But this team has it. This is a special group.’

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