Perkiomen School wins third straight Tri-County League championship

POTTSTOWN — It’s been quite a long time since the Perkiomen School girls basketball team has found itself on the wrong end of a Tri-County Independent School League box score.

Three years, to be exact.

On Thursday night, the Panthers weren’t about see what that felt like.

Perkiomen School (11-0 Tri-County, 15-5 overall) put the gas pedal down right from the start jumping out to a 22-3 after one period and never looked back en route to a 52-25 victory over J.M. Barrack Hebrew Academy in the Tri-County championship game.

“All year we have been talking the same thing; just do our job and play the way we are supposed to,’ Panthers head coach Randy Littlefield said. “We don’t care who is out there or who we have out there. We just want to try to make it look like good basketball.

“Tonight, we did not press (Barrack Hebrew). We had some guard press, but at no time was there a full- or half-court press. We just shot well in the first half, and our defense made the lead stick.’

From the onset, Perkiomen used its inside game — namely junior forward Kristen Burdo (game-high 20 points) — to open things up on the wings for juniors guard Stephanie Falcone (12 points) and forward Laura Vetter (11 points).

The trio accounted for 18 points in the first period alone, while on the other end of the court the Panther defense was stifling, halting the Barrack Hebrew offense on nine straight trips down the court. It wasn’t until there was 2:22 left on the clock that the Cougars finally got on the scoreboard on a Lindsay Chevlin 3-pointer that, at that point, made it a 17-3 game.

“(The Cougars) usually play tight inside a lot so it really opens us up on the outside, so it allows us to play a high-low, pass-in, pass-out style, which suits us well,’ said Falcone. “Defensively, our plan wasn’t to keep pressing them down, but as the match started to open up, we were just able to capitalize on their mistakes.

It would be much of the same in the second period as Perkiomen picked up where it left off, going on an 11-0 run before Barrack Hebrew’s Talia Raikin got open for a mid-range jumper just before the end of the first half, making it a 33-7 game.

The Cougars came to life a bit to start the second half, and Talia Koltun-Fromm hit a three to cut the deficit to 33-10, but again the Panthers had an answer with a Burdo layup and deep three from Vetter to widen the gap to 38-13. The Panthers would widen that gap to 43-13 by the end of the period, allowing Littlefield to go deep into his bench to give the reserves some time.

Barrack Hebrew actually outscored Perkiomen, 12-9 in the fourth period, but it was not enough as the Panthers cruised to the title.

“We just had a really good run on (Barrack Hebrew),’ Burdo said. “It was good that we did, because it allowed us to get a lot of people in the game, as were able to move the ball all around.’

For Falcone, the thought of winning a title in each of her three years as a high school player at Perkiomen was a little surreal.

“It’s pretty crazy to think of where we are at right now, from where we began three years ago,’ she said. “It’s kind of fun, and our team is so much closer this year than it has ever been, and everyone is playing a role.’

NOTES: For Barrack Hebrew, Chevlin accounted for 14 points, while Koltun-Fromm added

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