BUCKTOWN >> It was anyone’s game.
Which was just fine with the Owen J. Roberts boys lacrosse team. History was on their side.
With Perkiomen Valley nipping at their heels all season and determined to take their annual place in the Pioneer Athletic Conference championship game, senior Austin Koury and the Wildcats weren’t about to let a nine-year streak go by the wayside.
Make that 10.
With a commanding performance by Koury, who scored four goals and had three assists, and OJR keeping its reputation as a second-half team, Owen J. Roberts overtook Perkiomen Valley, 11-8, in the PAC semifinals to reach its 10th consecutive league title game Tuesday night at OJR.
OJR (13-5) will be joined in the championship game by Spring-Ford, also making their 10th straight final appearance (every year of the league’s existence) after a dominant 18-5 victory over Boyertown in the earlier semifinal.
After watching the Rams hold up their end of the finals streak, Koury and the Wildcats weren’t about to look ahead to Thursday.
“We weren’t thinking ahead,” Koury said. “Every game is a championship. We were looking at this game as a championship, and once we won this we move on to the next game and that’s a championships. That has to be the mentality, to come out as hard as we can everyday like we’re playing for the PAC-10 championship.”
They truly will be Thursday at 5 p.m. in the first game of a championship doubleheader (the girls’ final set for 7 p.m.) back at OJR.
OJR got two goals apiece from Ben Gindhart (one assist) and Noah Calle while Jack Colt and Joe Tordone had a goal and two assists each.
For Perk Valley, Shawn Coulter had three goals and an assist and Ben Minardi netted twice.
Plagued by slow starts all season, including both meetings against PV – on April 15, OJR rallied from six down to win 12-11 – OJR didn’t have one Tuesday.
They led 3-1 after a quarter, but the Vikings (11-6) cooled them off in the second.
“We didn’t have a slow start. But we had a slow second quarter,” Koury said. “We came out, played well and took a good start, which was key because we haven’t done that all year. Then in the second quarter we went back to our old ways, turned the ball over too much.”
After Matt Baker found Connor Willey for a goal with a minute left until halftime, PV carried a 5-4 lead into the break.
“At halftime we made some good adjustments, came back and controlled the tempo, and boom. We’re a second-half team,” Koury said.
It was as even as could be through three quarters, both goalies PV’s Kevin Mo (17 saves) and OJR’s J.C. Capaldo (12 saves) coming up with the goods to keep it close.
PV continued to answer each time OJR took a lead, Coulter connecting to make it 8-8 with 9:26 left.
Yet it would be their last score.
Calle gave the Wildcats the decisive lead unassisted with 7:47 to go before Koury and Tordone sealed it.
“Everybody meshed together and followed the game plan, followed it perfectly. That’s what happens when you work as a team, you come out on top,” Koury said.
NOTES >> Other scorers were, for OJR: Andrew O’Brien (1G); for PV: Nick Steele (1G), Brian Fehr (1A) and Connor Dee (1G). … OJR head coach Jeff Neese was on the sideline for the first time after recent hip surgery. Assistant Ben Carville, who has led the Wildcats in Neese’s absence, continued to lead the team Tuesday.