WORCESTER >> Methacton’s three seniors hadn’t celebrated a win over Spring-Ford since they were freshmen and the Warriors underclassmen never had the experience.
Those things changed Thursday night.
Warriors handed the Rams their first Pioneer Athletic Conference loss of the season, 42-39 in overtime, in Liberty Division play at Methacton High School.
“It feels awesome,” Methacton senior Caroline Pellicano said of snapping their seven-game losing streak against the Rams. “Me, Sydney (Hargrove) and Sydney (Tornetta) have been waiting for this moment since our freshmen year. It’s been a dogfight every single game. Different people every year. It feels amazing to get it our senior year. We know they’re an amazing team and we had to put our best effort out there to win.”
Sophomore guard Nicole Timko hit a three-pointer to give the Warriors a 40-38 lead with 2:40 left in overtime. That score held until the final 20 seconds, when Pellicano blocked PAC leading scorer Lucy Olsen’s three-point shot.
“We started a new defense,” Pellicano said. “When (Olsen) came around the ball and I saw her open, I know she’s an amazing three-point shooter. I knew I had to get up there and I had to block the shot no matter what. I didn’t care if I put her on the foul line. I needed to block that shot so it didn’t go in. It was an amazing feeling to get the ball out of their hands and back into our’s.”
Huge block by Pellicano pic.twitter.com/csmuQLRyq6
— Ed Morlock (@emor09) January 17, 2020
“I’m gonna credit our team’s effort and our defensive effort is what I think won the game for us,” Methacton coach Craig Kaminski said. “We did a great job executing on defense and keeping (Abbey) Boyer and Olsen in check. Kept them in check, off-balance, slowed them down a little bit. Very proud of them.”
Methacton’s Hargrove grabbed the rebound, got fouled and converted two free throws to give the Warriors a two-possession lead, 42-38, with 13.6 seconds left.
Spring-Ford cut its deficit to three, but Olsen’s halfcourt shot at the buzzer was off-target.
“That was a really good basketball game,” Rams coach Mickey McDaniel said. “Two good teams battling each other. That’s what you get out of it. We both made some mistakes, we both made good plays, they just came out on top at the end.”
It was a back-and-forth first half between the Liberty Division rivals. Timko hit a pair of threes in the first quarter to help the Warriors (13-2, 5-2) grab a 13-8 edge. Olsen and Alyssa Yuan each had four for the Rams (13-2, 6-1) in the second to get within one, 21-20, at halftime.
Spring-Ford scored the first basket of the second half to take a 22-21 lead, but the Warriors responded with a 9-0 run. Cassidy Kropp had five in the quarter, including a three-pointer to make it 30-22. The Rams ended the third with another make to head to the fourth trailing by six, 30-24.
Methacton took a 34-30 lead in the middle of the fourth quarter on a Timko layup. Olsen responded with five straight – two foul shots and a three – to give S-F the lead with 2:15 left. Yuan made it a two-point lead when she split free throws with 34 seconds to go.
The Warriors called timeout to draw up a play and delivered. Kropp found Tornetta for a backdoor layup to tie the game at 36 with less than 20 seconds remaining.
“That’s something we’ve been working on,” Kaminski said. “We have a freshman point guard who’s doing an amazing job for us. It’s been taking time for the freshman and the senior, Sydney, to work that out. Of course, it works out perfectly in one of the biggest games of the season.”
Spring-Ford had a chance to win at the end of regulation but a three-point attempt was off the mark.
Timko led the Warriors with 13 points, Kropp had 10 and Tornetta eight.
Olsen scored a game-high 16 points for the Rams, who were without one of their top players in Emily Tiffan. Yuan added eight and Abbey Boyer had six.
“Tonight we had some adversity,” McDaniel said. “We haven’t really faced adversity all season. Now we see how we handle this adversity and where we go from here.”
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