Perkiomen Valley's Justin Jaworski drives past Norristown's Kurahn Clark (Sam Stewart - Digital First Media)
Early in the fourth quarter, the Norristown Eagles had closed the gap to four points and looked prime to push top seeded Perkiomen Valley to the brink. However, they could not overcome one huge obstacle. Vikings’ star Justin Jaworski.
Jaworski scored the team’s first 14 points in the final quarter and would end up with 18 in just that quarter alone. The senior guard has been the team’s go to guy for each of the last two seasons and he showed once again why that is the case with 31 points and shooting a spectacular 15-16 from the free throw line. Fellow senior guard Sean Owens would add 14 points and a couple of well-timed assists in the win.
His team’s overall performance from the line, especially down the stretch was key in the winning effort. The Vikings attempted 28 free throws in the game and made 24 of them for an 86% clip. The timely shooting coupled with the high tendency of foul calls in the game played right into Perkiomen Valley’s advantage.
“We walk to the free throw line with confidence,” Vikings’ coach Mike Poysden explained, “That’s part of what we’re planning for, its clock management and making your free throws down the stretch.”
And boy what a plan it was, Poysden’s team pulled away late behind that exact mentality. They milked the clock and made their free throws to expand the lead to an eventual 60-43 win over the fifth seeded Norristown.
Norristown hung around for a while, never quite pulling ahead, but never quite falling out of it until foul trouble got to them. Marquise Greenwood (12 points-9 rebounds), Xavier Edwards (8 points), and Kurahn Clark (9 points) all fouled out and fellow starter Mickeel Allen sat out the majority of the second half with four fouls.
Allen, the sophomore forward who hit the game tying three against Methacton on Tuesday night, saw little action after picking his fourth foul early in the third quarter. However, Allen represents a big piece of Norristown’s future. The Eagles will return three starters to PAC play next year along with quite a few of their role players. Getting the big game experience now will be beneficial further along as guys like Allen and fellow sophomores Edwards and Marcus Sanford come into their own.
As for the present, the dream season lives on for Perkiomen Valley as they finally get their chance to exact revenge on Spring-Ford for last year’s controversial PAC title game. A date with the Rams is set for Tuesday night and Jaworski cannot wait for his chance.
When asked about the chance to do it all over again this year, Jaworski smiled and said, “You can’t ask for anything more than to get a rematch with them…both teams are playing for one game, and the basketball gods gave us Spring-Ford, and I’m excited for it.”
And so on Tuesday night the basketball gods will give us a PAC champion in the form of a highly anticipated rematch of the two rival schools.