(Vikings’ guard Justin Jaworski cuts down the net following Perkiomen Valley’s 52-45 victory in PAC Championship Photo Credit @raydunne21 Photography)
With seven minutes remaining, Spring-Ford led 34-26 and the Rams looked primed to lock up back to back PAC titles. Perkiomen Valley’s star Justin Jaworski was 3-12 from the field and had been held to seven points. Things were looking bleak for the Vikings.
And then the Vikings cut it to five with free throws from Hogan Millheim and Andrew Light.
Followed by cutting it to four with a Sean Owens three, and then they cut it to one with a Tyler Stretchay three.
Perkiomen Valley’s starters not named Justin Jaworski pulled them back into the game. They had closed the gap and by the law of percentages, Jaworski had to pick it up soon. The Rams were back pedaling with three minutes left.
Finally, like a shark smelling blood, “Jaws” took over the game. He knocked down a three from the corner and gave his team the lead. No one else on his team would score the rest of the way as Jaworski knocked down 10 straight free throws to put the game away. He would finish with a game-high 24 points and finally get the revenge he and all of Perkiomen Valley was seeking after last year’s championship game.
The celebration was on in Norristown High School’s gymnasium. Jaworski and longtime friend and teammate Sean Owens embraced as the cheerleaders, parents, and student section all came together as one in celebration. The title was theirs at last and their time had come to cut down the nets.
After the celebration on the court was over, Coach Mike Poysden, Owens, and Jaworski all conveyed similar messages as they reflected on the game.
Despite a first half in which the Vikings only scored 17 points, Coach Poysden emphasized to his guys “You can’t stop being who you are out there” and added that his team’s patience and deliberateness held the offense together despite the lack of production early on.
“The team just stayed relaxed…we just kept shooting” an excited Owens said, echoing his coach’s message. Owens provided a bit of a scare at the end of the game for fans as he went to the ground with an apparent injury, but returned as he was only dealing with cramps. He joked after the game that he was “A little embarrassed, (I) feel like an old man”, but he will be good to go for district playoffs.
As for his teammate since before they even hit middle school, Jaworski was quick to deflect the spotlight, saying “Our supporting cast played
great, keeping us in the game while I was shooting like 1-for-8.”
The senior core of Owens, Jaworski, and Hogan Millheim finally captured the title that Coach Poysden envisioned for them. For the third time in league history and the second time under Coach
Poysden, the PAC title is headed back to “The Valley.”
(Fans, cheerleaders, and the team all joined on the court in celebration following Perkiomen Valley’s 52- 45 victory over Spring Ford in the PAC title game Photo Credit @raydunne21 photography)
Vikings, but untimely turnovers and a cold stretch offensively saw the lead disappear into the opposition’s hands. Junior Nestor Diaz, who fought off a lingering leg injury most of the second half of the season, played great for the Rams along with sophomore forward Noah Baker, who led the team in scoring with 14 points.
The glimpses of potential shown by Diaz and Baker in this game along with the progression of center Austin Hokanson throughout the season should be cause for excitement for Rams’ fans looking towards the future. As for the seniors, Adam Geremski and Ryan Fitzpatrick were a huge part of the Rams’ success guarding Jaworski for most of the game. Chucky Drummond knocked down a huge three to close the gap to three with 20 seconds left and finished his final PAC game with 10 points.
After almost two months of PAC basketball fans got what they deserved. A rematch of one of the most intense PAC championships ever and this one did not disappoint either. And so Coach Mike Poysden and Justin Jaworski accomplish a goal they set four years ago after the last Vikings’ title.
Poysden said to the future star “‘Why don’t we get 1,000 points and do this one day?’"