WEST NORRITON >> Methacton’s win over Norristown Tuesday night was similar to the meeting between the Pioneer Athletic Conference Liberty Division rivals earlier this month.
In both games the Warriors got off to fast starts and kept their foot on the gas – essentially putting an end to both games before the end of the third quarter.
Methacton won the second meeting, 81-52, at Norristown Area High School.
The Warriors (17-1, 9-0 PAC Liberty) scored the first nine points of the game and built a 12-point lead, 26-14, after the first quarter. Jeff Woodward and Owen Kropp each had eight points in the opening eight minutes and Erik Timko added six.
“(The fast start) helps a lot because it gives us momentum moving forward in the game,” Timko said. “It helps us flow offensively and defensively.”
It was more of the same in the second quarter. Timko scored seven points and Cole Hargrove added five as Methacton took a 23-point lead, 48-25, into the half.
The third quarter was more competitive, with the two-time defending PAC champs only outscoring Norristown by two points, but it was too little too late for the Eagles as the Warriors took a 64-39 advantage to the fourth quarter.
The fourth saw both teams get their backups into the game as the clock counted down on an 81-52 Methacton win.
Timko led the Warriors with 25 points, Woodward added 15 and Kropp and Hargrave each had 13.
“(Balanced scoring) helps take the pressure off everybody,” Timko said. “It helps the flow of our team all together.
“My teammates were looking for me on some cuts I had or in the post. I was getting up-and-down the floor and being aggressive on the boards.”
Willie Anderson was the Eagles (9-7, 5-4 PAC Liberty) only scorer in double figures with 23 points.
It was the third time in as many weeks that the first-place Warriors faced the team directly behind them in the standings. They beat Norristown, 68-48, and Spring-Ford, 73-40, before completing the sweep over Norristown Tuesday.
“I credit our coaches for having us prepared for those games,” Timko said. “We come out, execute the game plan and bring the energy we need to win those games.”
Tuesday was Methacton’s 14th straight win since a loss to Roman Catholic on Dec. 14. Every win has been by at least nine points.
“That’s something we’re really working towards,” Methacton head coach Jeff Derstine said of the night-in, night-out success. “We knew coming into this season, with the season we has last year, that we have a target on our back. You can’t run away from that and you need to be ready to play. Our guys really do understand it and we’ll come out ready to work tomorrow and play against a dangerous and talented Pottstown team on Thursday. We’ll have to be ready to go.”
Norristown entered Tuesday’s game No. 20 in the District 1-6A rankings, where the top 24 teams qualify for postseason play. Despite the loss, Eagles head coach Dana “Binky” Johnson found some positives from their game against Methacton.
“These are experience games,” he said. “There’s a lot to be learned, a lot of take home value, especially tonight.
“Our focus all year was one at a time and to gain some experience. We call it take home value – THV. When you have a young team, you always want to stay positive and have some take home value. If anything you want to be better at, just don’t go out there and show up. What I saw tonight – I did see something that we proved in our take home value from when we lost to Malvern Prep. Everyone’s head went down. Not tonight. We were down 20-plus in the fourth and we were still defending like it was a two-point game. They got the take home value from earlier losses and that’s what we build on.”
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