Spring-Ford sees several rise to the occasion in win over Perkiomen Valley

ROYERSFORD >> With leading scorer Zack Skrocki held in check for most of Wednesday’s game against Perkiomen Valley, Spring-Ford looked to a few of its other upperclassmen to lead the way offensively.

Senior Tyler Irby shouldered the scoring load in the first quarter, senior Nate Santiago took over in the second and junior Jake Kressley guided the Rams in the fourth as they staved off the Vikings for a 53-47 Pioneer Athletic Conference Liberty Division victory.

Kressley led Spring-Ford with 15 points (eight in the fourth quarter), Santiago finished with 12 and Irby added 10 in the win. Perk Valley seniors Tyler Lapetina and Kameron Parks led the Vikings with 24 and 14, respectively.

“This is the most depth team I’ve been on since I got to the school,” Kressley said. “Anybody can score. I think whenever somebody is having a bad night we’ve always got somebody to have their back.”

“Skrocki didn’t have his best night, but everybody stepped up and made up for it,” Santiago added.

Spring-Ford’s Gavin Schauder, right, shoots the ball over Perk Valley’s Aidan Quinn, front, and Dawson Debebe. (Owen McCue – MediaNew Group)

Parks shadowed Skrocki, who came in averaging 16.3 points per game, holding him scoreless in the second and third quarters after a pair of baskets in the first.

Even on a night when he wasn’t lighting up the scoreboard, Skrocki found a way to propel Spring-Ford (2-1 Liberty, 3-1 PAC) in the final moments of the rivalry win.

With about two minutes to go and his team’s once double-digit lead down to one, Skrocki nailed a turnaround jumper with Parks’ hand in his face. Seconds later Skrocki swiped the ball and found Irby in transition, putting the Rams ahead, 44-39, with 1:49 remaining in the contest.

Though Lapetina kept Perk Valley (0-1 Liberty, 0-2 PAC) alive with a pair of deep, deep threes, Kressley, junior Gavin Schauder and sophomore Alex Lewis combined to go 8-for-11 from the free throw line in the fourth to seal the win.

“We just had to really stay calm,” Kressley said. “Lapetina heated up a little bit, but as long as we kept our cool, run our offense, do what we normally do, we should be fine.”


Perkiomen Valley didn’t begin its tryouts until Jan. 11, the same week several other PAC teams began their 2021 seasons. The Vikings’ first contest of 2021 came Monday in a 76-52 loss to Pope John Paul II.

Just as it did in the loss to PJP, Perk Valley’s offense got out of the gates to a slow start Wednesday as the Vikings trailed 12-4 after the first quarter and 27-15 at halftime after Santiago poured in 10 points, including a buzzer beater in the second.

Parks and Lapetina combined for all of but two of PV’s points in the final three periods. Parks had eight and Lapetina six in the third, bringing their team within two before entering the fourth down 33-29.

Down 38-31 early in the fourth, Lapetina scored eight straight for PV to pull within one, 40-39, with 2:29 to play. However, PV never took the lead as Skrocki and the Rams responded with two straight buckets.

“We’re trying to keep a level head about it,” Perkiomen Valley coach Mike Poysden said of the late start. “The hope is it calls us to a sense of urgency about practice and preparation, but game speed is game speed and opponents are different from yourself.”

Perkiomen Valley’s Dawson Debebe, center, splits the defense of Spring-Ford’s Jake Kressley, left, and Gavin Schauder, right. (Owen McCue – MediaNews Group)

A loaded opening week that’s seen the Vikings go up against two of the league favorites continues Friday against Liberty Division rival Owen J. Roberts (1-2 Liberty, 2-3 PAC) which has proven to be much improved this season.

“The window and the curve this year has to be so steep and you have to have short memory,” Poysden said. “Forget about it, learn about it, make the adjustments and move on to the next one because you’re right back at it on Friday. Known league teams you’re playing, three days a week, there’s no excuses. You just have to keep getting ready.”


Spring-Ford, which came into Wednesday’s contest off an overtime loss to three-time defending league champ Methacton, hosts Boyertown on Saturday with another opportunity to assert itself as one of the top squads in the league.

Skrocki, Santiago, Irby and the rest of the Rams’ seniors Jake Santangelo, Nate Capers and Nasir Cooke celebrated their Senior Night on Wednesday — a good time to reflect on the ambitions this team has for the rest of the season.

“This was something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time,” Santiago said. “As a kid, me and Skrocki talked about it when we played travel together. We just wanted to get out there and get a win.”

“Definitely win the PAC,” he added of the team’s goals. “That’s another thing me and Skrocki talked about when we were kids. I just want to make our dreams a reality.”

NOTES >> Schauder, Lewis and junior Braden Huntington combined for 10 points and a plethora of hustle plays for Spring-Ford. “Our younger guys stepped up,” Santiago said. “Especially Alex Lewis, he’s been playing really well lately. He knocked down big free throws, and same with Gavin Schauder.” … Dominic Micelli had six points for PV, one of just three scorers for the Vikings in the second half along with Parks and Lapetina. His bucket with 1:25 to play made it a 44-41 games.

Spring-Ford 53

Perkiomen Valley 47

PERKIOMEN VALLEY: Quinn 0 0-0 0, Parks 6 1-2 14, Kohler 0 0-0 0, Sadler 1 0-0 3, Debebe 0 0-0 0, Lapetina 7 8-8 24, Micelli 3 0-0 6, A. Martinez 0 0-0 0, Pelzer 0 0-0 0, Totals 17 9-10 47.

SPRING-FORD: Skrocki 3 0-0 6, Irby 5 0-0 10, Santangelo 0 0-0 0, Capers 0 0-0 0, Lewis 1 2-4 4, Santiago 5 2-2 12, Kressley 6 3-6 15, Cooke 0 0-0 0, Huntington 1 0-0 2, Schauder 0 4-4 4, Totals 21 11-16 53.

Perkiomen Valley 4 11 14 18-47
Spring-Ford 12 15 6 20-53

3-point goals: Lapetina 2, Sadler, Parks.

Spring-Ford’s Nate Santiago, center, goes ups for a shot as Perkiomen Valley’s, from left, Dominic Micelli, Ethan Kohler and Josh Pelzer force a jump ball. (Owen McCue – MediaNews Group)
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