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Division champions on both sides, Methacton, Pope John Paul II lead PAC Final 6 fields

No, you’re not seeing double.

But you would be forgiven for thinking of double vision when looking at the Pioneer Athletic Conference boys and girls basketball playoff fields, a Final Six that was solidified Saturday.

Both boys and girls playoff fields have the same three schools holding down the top 3 seeds. Liberty Division champion Methacton earned the No. 1 seed followed by Frontier Division winner Pope John Paul II as the No. 2 seed while Perkiomen Valley, the Liberty Division runner-up on both sides, settled as the No. 3 seed.

The boys’ field also includes Frontier second-place Upper Merion at No. 4. Norristown’s 47-28 win over Spring-Ford Saturday afternoon earned the Eagles the No. 5 seed while Phoenixville nabbed the No. 6 spot after its 60-42 win at Pottsgrove also Saturday. (Both 9-4 in PAC play, Norristown held a tiebreaker on Phoenixville held District 1 power points).

The girls’ Final Six includes upstart Upper Perkiomen, the Frontier runner-up, at No. 4. Four-time reigning champion Spring-Ford earned the top wild card spot and is seeded No. 5 while Owen J. Roberts comes in at No. 6.

The PAC tournaments will be held entirely at Spring-Ford.

PAC Boys’ Basketball Final 6 playoffs

Wednesday, Feb. 9
First Round
No. 3 Perkiomen Valley (7-3, 10-3, 15-7) vs. No. 6 Phoenixville (7-3, 9-4, 15-6), 6 p.m.
No. 4 Upper Merion (8-2, 8-5, 10-9) vs. No. 5 Norristown (6-4, 9-4, 16-6), 7:45 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 11
Semifinals
No. 1 Methacton (9-1, 12-1, 19-2) vs. 4/5 winner, 6 p.m.
No. 2 Pope John Paul II (8-2, 8-5, 12-7) vs. 3/6 winner, 7:45 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 15
Championship
TBD, 7 p.m.

PAC Girls’ Basketball Final 6 playoffs

Thursday, Feb. 10
Quarterfinals
No. 3 Perkiomen Valley (8-2, 11-2, 17-3) vs. No. 6 Owen J. Roberts (4-6, 7-6, 13-8), 6 p.m.
No. 4 Upper Perkiomen (7-2, 8-4, 13-7) vs. No. 5 Spring-Ford (7-3, 10-3, 16-5), 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 12
Semifinals
No. 1 Methacton (9-1, 12-1, 18-2) vs. 4/5 winner, 1 p.m.
No. 2 Pope John Paul II (9-1, 10-3, 10-8) vs. 3/6 winner, 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 16
Championship
TBD, 7 p.m.

District outlook

On the topic of the postseason, teams are doing their final jockeying for position for the District 1 playoffs.

On the boys’ side, in Class 6A, Methacton (19-2) remains the No. 1 ranked team despite losses in two of their last three outings after Saturday’s overtime defeat to Wilson. Fellow PAC Liberty outfits Norristown (No. 13), Spring-Ford (No. 14) and Perkiomen Valley (No. 21) are also projected entrants in the 24-team field. Twelve teams will make the PIAA Championships. Opening night of district play is Friday, Feb. 18.

In Class 5A, Phoenixville (15-6) is situated at No. 3, behind on Radnor (17-2) and Chester (13-3). Upper Merion sits at No. 9, safely in the 12-team tournament.

Pope John Paul II is No. 2 in Class 4A behind Collegium Charter (16-2). Four teams qualify with one entrant to the PIAA tournament.

The girls’ Class 6A field shows Methacton (18-2) and Perkiomen Valley (17-3) sitting at Nos. 5 and 6, respectively. Last year’s finalist Plymouth Whitemarsh is 19-0 and top ranked.

Defending District 1 champion and PIAA finalist Spring-Ford (16-5) is situated at No. 11 while Owen J. Roberts (13-8) jumped from No. 26 to No. 24 – the last qualifying spot – thanks to Saturday’s overtime win over No. 4 Central Bucks South. The Wildcats meet Villa Maria (No. 8 in 5A) in their regular season finale Tuesday.

Upper Perkiomen (14-7) is the only PAC squad in position to make the 5A playoffs. The Tribe are currently No. 10 with 12 teams qualifying.

Pope John Paul II (10-8) is in danger of missing the four-team 4A playoffs. The Golden Panthers are currently No. 5, trailing No. 4 New Hope Solebury, also 10-8, in rankings points (7.427-6.748). PJP hosts No. 3 Collegium Charter on Tuesday in its regular season finale.

Closing time

Not every team is turning their attention to the playoffs. For a few, they have capped seasons and careers in the past week.
The Pottstown girls fell into that category after their season-ending loss at Marple Newtown Saturday.

It capped the career of senior guard Trinell Watson, who averaged a PAC-best 23.1 points per game. With 508 points this season, she upped her career total to 1,259, which ranks fifth in Pottstown history and 38th all-time among Mercury schools.

Watson passed Pottstown’s first 1,000-point scorer and 1981 grad Peachie Nixon’s 1,243 points in her final game. The Trojans’ scorers ahead of Watson are PAC all-time top scorer Jamell Beasley (1,749 points, 2003), Jessica Faust (1,614 points, 1998), Aiesha Harper (1,599 points, 2008) and Kristy Garner (1,457 points, 2001).

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