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Girls basketball: PAC playoff race hitting home stretch

The moment of truth has arrived for Pioneer Athletic Conference girls basketball teams. After completing their preseason and holiday tournaments, the first round of games against division opponents and all of their crossover contests, they will now see just how far they have progressed during the course of the season.

Over the next two weeks, they will again be playing teams in their own division, and those head-to-head match-ups will go a long way in determining who wins the PAC Liberty and Frontier Division championships, who earns league playoff wildcard berths and who claims spots in the District 1 playoffs.

In the Frontier Division, five of the six teams are in contention for one of the two automatic PAC playoff spots: Pope John Paul II (4-1 Frontier, 4-4 PAC overall), Phoenixville (4-2, 5-4), Upper Merion (4-2, 4-5), Pottstown (3-3, 4-5) and Pottsgrove (2-3,2-6).

A key game on Tuesday will have Phoenixville visiting PJP. In their first meeting, the Golden Panthers trailed by six points early in the fourth quarter, but ran off nine in a row for a 26-23 advantage. Two baskets by Riley Ford-Bey (12 points) put the Phantoms back on top, but Elena Colliluori sank two free throws with 13 seconds remaining to give Pope John Paul a 28-27 win.

In another big contest on Tuesday, Pottsgrove visits Pottstown. In key games on Thursday, PJP travels to Pottstown and Upper Merion visits Phoenixville. All of the teams will be back in division action next Tuesday and Thursday and a rescheduled game on Saturday morning that has Pope John Paul II hosting Pottsgrove could play a role in deciding the playoff participants.

In the Liberty Division, Spring-Ford and Perkiomen Valley are tied at the top at 5-1, with both also having 8-1 overall PAC records. Right behind is Methacton (4-2, 7-2), which has the inside track to earning one of the two wildcard berths decided by overall league record. Owen J. Roberts (3-3, 6-3) is currently in the second wildcard position, with a better overall record than any team from the Frontier Division.

In key contests over the next two weeks, OJR hosts Spring-Ford on Tuesday and visits Methacton on Thursday. Then next Tuesday, Methacton visits Spring-Ford and Spring-Ford and Perkiomen Valley face off at PV on Thursday.

Methacton handed Spring-Ford its only PAC loss, 50-42, as the Warriors ran off 14 straight points early to take a 19-7 advantage. Cassidy Kropp and Mairi Smith each scored 13 for the Warriors and Mac Pettinelli led the Rams with 18 points.

Spring-Ford topped PV 56-44 the first time around as Quinn Boettinger scored 22 for PV and Anna Azzara 18 for the Rams. Spring-Ford out-scored the Vikings 16-8 in the third quarter to take a commanding 13-point lead.

The top two teams in each division will qualify for the PAC playoffs at Perk Valley, along with the two teams with the next-best overall PAC records. The division champions earn first-round byes.

Scoring Leaders >> Perkiomen Valley 6-3 sophomore center Quinn Boettinger poured in 30 points in a 70-44 win against Methacton on Tuesday and leads the PAC in scoring with 16.5 points per game.

Other scoring leaders include Spring-Ford’s Anna Azzara (16.2), Methacton’s Cassidy Kropp (15.6), Pottstown’s Tamya Jarrett (15.3), Owen J. Roberts’ Gabbi Koury (13.5), Methacton’s Mairi Smith (13.3) and Perk Valley’s Grace Galbavy (11.9).

Jarrett leads the league in 3-point shots made with 33, followed by Boyertown’s Carlie Schweizer and PV’s Bella Bacani with 30 each and Methacton’s Reana Torres with 27.

District Rankings >> Three PAC teams are in position to make the 24-team District 1-6A playoff field. Perkiomen Valley (16-1) is ranked No. 1, Spring-Ford (15-2) is No. 8 and Methacton (12-5) is currently No. 14. Owen J. Roberts is ranked No. 29.

The Class 5A playoffs will include 12 teams. Phoenixville (8-7) is ranked No. 13, Upper Merion (6-9) is No. 14, Pottsgrove (6-9) is No. 15 and Pottstown (6-9) is currently ranked No.18.

In Class 4A, where four teams qualify, Pope John Paul II (6-9) is ranked No. 5.

Notes >> Methacton senior Cassidy Kropp is 46 points away from 1,000 for her career after scoring 22 in a 65-64 win over North Penn on Saturday … The Hill School stands at 7-11 (1-2 in the Mid-Atlantic Prep League) following a 38-31 MAPL loss Saturday at Mercersburg Academy. The Blues have four remaining regular season games, with the MAPL playoffs at Mercersburg to begin on February 10 and the PAISAA Tournaments slated to start on February 17.

Pioneer Athletic Conference Liberty Division 2022-23


Pioneer Athletic Conference Scoring Leaders 2022-23

Quinn BoettingerPerkiomen Valley211445685534916.6
Anna AzzaraSpring-Ford2114232492734316.3
Cassidy KroppMethacton21108961301733115.8
Tamya JarrettPottstown188651853526714.8
Mairi SmithMethacton201134151126813.4
Grace GalbavyPerkiomen Valley211085788427813.2
Gabbi KouryOwen J. Roberts2010147110825712.9
Erin StatesUpper Perkiomen187542571720911.6
Asya PriceOwen J. Roberts196753711420510.8
Levayda FuquaUpper Merion187039661519510.8
Bella BacaniPerkiomen Valley218223383422110.5
Mackenzie PettinelliSpring-Ford2288814242089.5
Aaliyah FreemanPottsgrove18571525301669.2
Kennedy ColesUpper Merion1658234971469.1
Abby ArnoldMethacton16483339131438.9
Katie TiffanSpring-Ford22721927251878.5
Mikyla BrandonPottstown1848508941508.3
Jessica CarrollPottsgrove1854415501498.3
Reana TorresMethacton19551222341548.1
Briana MinickNorristown1549235111228.1
Carlie SchweizerBoyertown19472335341517.9
Carly DouglasNorristown51213172397.8
Riley Ford-BeyPhoenixville1645338201237.7
Ashly WhiteOwen J. Roberts1753153581297.6
Katie NillesPope John Paul II1852317101357.5
Madelyn WeaverBoyertown20601124151487.4
Caroline FlickPhoenixville18471019271317.3
Jayana HillPottstown1940509531337.0
Mali WarrenPhoenixville1952244041326.9
Meg RobbinsSpring-Ford2164172701456.9
Nevaeh Latimore-BeasleyPhoenixville1850142851196.6
Hannah AdamskiBoyertown1940254631085.7
Rylee DerecolaPope John Paul II1733142113935.5
Julia SmithPerkiomen Valley2141510281155.5
Kayden BarattaPhoenixville19352132111025.4
Cori BieberBoyertown1935510261015.3
Lena SteinPerkiomen Valley2146122761105.2
Nadie PlattPope John Paul II162626405835.2
Riley AndersonUpper Merion1212055.0
Harper GlennonBoyertown203428551974.9


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