Perk Valley tops North Penn in opener

TOWAMENCIN >> Perkiomen Valley’s focus is to not only break the opposing team’s press, but to make the opposition pay at the other end.

Several times throughout Friday evening’s season opener with North Penn, the Vikings did just that, and along with a dominant rebounding performance, PV used a strong second half to pull away to a 69-50 win over the Maidens at the Fifth Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament at North Penn High School.

“It’s a very good way to start off,” said Vikings coach John Strawoet, who guided the team to the most wins in school history last season. “That’s a good North Penn team — well-coached with a lot of talent. They can knock down a three.

“We started off the same way we did last year: play good defense and get on the boards as much as we can. It was really a nice team win for us.”

Perk Valley will face Lansdale Catholic tomorrow at 2 p.m. and North Penn takes on Pope John Paul II in the 4 p.m. contest.

Meg Jonassen led the Vikings’ balanced attack with 24 points, with Hanan Richmond adding 19 and K.T. Armstrong scoring 15.

Up by three at halftime, the Vikings began the third quarter with an 8-0 run, including a score in transition by Bridgette Bonjo.

Perk Valley took a nine-point lead into the fourth and then got back-to-back baskets by Jonassen and Armstrong — both off rebounds — to stretch the margin to 50-37.

Irisa Ye finished off her team-high 20-point effort for the Maidens with six points in the fourth, helping NP to trim the deficit to 57-47 with four minutes to play, but Perk Valley used one final push to put the game way.

A drive to the hoop by Richmond increased the Viking lead to 12, a putback by Jonassen made it 61-47, and then another basket by Richmond had the Vikings firmly in control, ahead by 16.

North Penn got points from five different players in the first half, including six by Sam Carangi and 13 by Ye, but couldn’t duplicate the same kind of success in the second half.

“We played better in the first half but we still gave up so many offensive rebounds,” Maidens coach Maggie deMarteleire said. “And defensively, I felt like they made some adjustments in the second half and we were just settling for threes. That’s when the game started to get away from us.

“But they’re very good. They’re very big. And they play good defense and they pound the boards. It is the first game of the season, so we have a lot of time to improve and we know the things we need to work on. It is kind of good that we have a game (Saturday).”

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