Souderton boys win in overtime, North Penn girls stay unbeaten

TOWAMENCIN >> The shot was from a tough angle in a tough spot.

For Danny Trout, it was just right.

“I practice that shot all the time,” the Souderton Area senior said. “Everyone always tells me it’s never gonna come in handy.”

Trout fired in the go-ahead goal for Big Red in the first overtime Thursday night, propelling the Indians to a thrilling 11-10 win over previously-unbeaten North Penn.

“It’s probably the best game we’ve put together in the last two or three years,” Big Red coach Joe Hay said. “I could not be prouder of these guys.”

Big Red’s win in OT followed up a 12-6 victory by the North Penn girls, as the local rivalry continued in front of a packed house at the Rick Carroll Natatorium.

The Souderton boys jumped out to a 5-1 lead, withstood a rally by North Penn, and would use a goal by Trout to take a 9-8 lead with 2:02 to go in the fourth quarter.

But the Knights, state runner-ups a year ago, tied the game with a score by Nico Kountroubis and then, with just two seconds to go, pushed ahead 10-9 when Matthew Franco lofted one in to the far corner.

Souderton’s confidence, unwavering throughout, surfaced once again. Big Red had one final shot to take, and Ryan Witoslawski was the one to take it.

“We do those plays, I don’t know how many times in practice,” Trout said of the final play. “(Ryan) knows he can hit that shot. Ryan’s gonna hit that shot. We have faith in him. We can put it in his hands for those final few seconds.”

Witoslawski lofted it into the far corner, just before the buzzer sounded through the natatorium, sending the red half of the capacity crowd to its feet.

“Fairly clutch,” Hay said with a smile.

Trout’s goal would be the only one in overtime, and Big Red went on to a very loud and emotional win over a tough opponent, its first win over North Penn since 2012.

“North Penn’s a great team,” Hay said. “They’ve got clutch players all over the place.”

For Big Red, motivation began long before plunging into the North Penn pool.

“Mr. Hay texted me all day, ‘it’s our day. It’s our day,’” Trout said. “I threw the (go-ahead) shot, but it was my teammates backing me up. We put four quarters together of the best water polo we ever played.

“We’re a senior-dominated team,” Trout said. “We know something’s brewin’ this year.”

Earlier in the evening, it was a five-goal effort by Shannon Quinn that pushed the Maidens to a 12-6 win over Big Red, as the defending state champions improved to a perfect 5-0.

“Souderton’s always so fired up to play us so it’s really exciting,” said Quinn, who helped the Maidens pull away in the second and third quarters. “We all work really well together and our chemistry is really good.

“I think (early on), nerves kind of got the best of us. But we started to get our head in it more and really got it going. We have a big tournament (at Beast of the East) this weekend so hopefully we can keep the streak going.”

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