Perk Valley uses fast start, free throws to overcome Ford, Wissahickon

PERKIOMEN >> A strong start and a bevy of free throws enabled the Perkiomen Valley boys basketball team to weather the three-point barrage by Wissahickon’s Shane Ford Tuesday night.

The Vikings led by eight after a quarter and by as much as 12 in the first half before Ford got hot from long range to tie Tuesday’s Viking Shootout nightcap in the third quarter. But Perk Valley capitalized on taking 34 foul shots – and making 26 – to pull away for a 65-56 victory.

“When they were shooting deeper and deeper and deeper and our guys were surprised that they’re capable of doing that but they’re good shooters out there,” Perk Valley coach Mike Poysden said. “But I thought there was a level of composure that kept us in. I thought we kept our heads, we didn’t really react to too much and more importantly trusted in our teammates and held it together for the win.”

Ford hit five of his six three-pointers in the second half as he finished with game-high 25 points. With the Trojans down 32-25 at the half, he hit three times from beyond the arc in the third to even the matchup at 34.

“I thought in the first half (Hogan Millheim) was getting the best of him and we put it to Shane, ‘Look man, you got to go out and play that guy tougher,’” Wissahickon coach Kyle Wilson said. “And not only did he really come out and not give that guy easy the second half he came out and turned on his game as well.”

Wissahickon’s Shane Ford squares with the basket as Perk Valley’s Hogan Millheim defends during their game at the Viking Shootout on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

The Vikings, however, ended the quarter on a 7-2 run with a Tyler Stretchay trey making it 44-36 early in the fourth. Wissahickon stayed within reach – cutting the margin to four at 48-44 – but with 3:11 left and down six the Trojans lost their patience with the whistles.

After called for a foul under the PV basket, Wissahickon was then assessed two technical fouls. The Vikings hit five of six from the line to push their lead to 11. The closest the Trojans got from there was seven in the final minute.

“I don’t think it was that big a difference in the game but it was enough of a unique situation there that eventually it demoralizes one team where you start looking and go, ‘Jesus, is there anything we can do to get a decent, fair shake out there,’” Wilson said. “And I think that mentally took a toll on our guys.”

Justin Jaworski was 10-for-10 from the foul line and had 19 points paced Perkiomen Valley (5-2, 2-1 PAC Liberty), which earned its third straight win. Millheim finished with 18 points.

Jaworski and Millheim combined for 15 of the Vikings’ 19 first-quarter points but the duo got help in the second half. PV had seven players collected at least two points after Wissahickon pulled even in the third.

“I thought that was a pretty mature response from our leaders in (Sean) Owens and Hogan and Jaworski,” Poysden said. “The composure they show on the floor, you can tell they trust each other and they’re improving every game in leadership.”

Donovan Oliphant, Max Rapoport and Zach Reiner all added eight points for Wissahickon (3-3, 2-1 Suburban One League American), which had a two-game win streak snapped.

The Trojans face Methacton in the Wednesday’s Viking Shootout opener at 5 p.m. while Perk Valley takes on North Penn at 6 p.m. North Penn beat Methacton 56-51 in Tuesday’s first game.

Perkiomen had a lead as large as nine (13-4) in the first quarter before going into the second up 19-11 after Joe Gorla basket.

Perk iomen Valley’’s Joe Gorla drives past Wissahickon’’s Zach Reiner during their game at the Viking Shootout on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

Two Stretchay free throws and a Millheim layup off an Owens assist put the Vikings up 23-11. Wissahickon cut the deficit to seven twice but PV was back up a dozen at 32-20 after a five-point spurt capped by Millheim’s free throws with 1:16 left in the half.

“For an undersized interior guy he’s really knacky about finding ways to score,” said Poysden of Millheim. “Every year he’s come back a better player. That’s the key is he’s committed himself to weight training, committed himself to shooting that he really is improved.”

A Ford putback made it 32-22 with the Trojans making it a seven-point contest at halftime when Reiner’s heave from just beyond halfcourt was good as the buzzer.

After Ford’s trio of threes evened things in the third, Stretchay – who finished with nine points – hit a jumper to put PV back ahead 36-34. A Millheim free throw at 4:21 made it 37-34. Chaz Owens’ putback go Wissahickon to within 37-36 but Jaworski and Gorla both went 2-for-2 at the line for a 41-36 advantage heading to the fourth.

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