The Penncrest Lions secured the District 1 5A Boys Basketball Championship in thrilling fashion against the Upper Merion Vikings, 39-37.
The Upper Merion student section welcomed the Lions starters by reading newspapers during their introductions. Needless the say, the commitment from the stands was just a glimpse of what was to come from the contestants on both sides of the ball.
For the Vikings, they opened up the scoring early with a foul shot from Anthony Sheppard. For Penncrests’ Tyler Norwood, he initiated the Lions on to the board by also shooting a single foul shot.
Throughout the first period, Upper Merion was the leading team, until an 8-8 tie late in the first period. With seconds winding down, Vikings guard Andrew Persaud lifted his team to an 11-8 lead with a buzzer-beating three.
The Vikings held the lead in the second period until Norwood brought the score to another tie of 12-12. Penncrest took the lead after a Justin Ross’s tie-breaking three-pointer brought the first half to a close with a score of 15-14. Upper Merions’ Ethan Miller accounted for all three of their second period points.
The start of the second half heavily favored the Vikings, as they quickly jumped ahead to 23-15, despite a clean three-pointer from Ross. The third period concluded with the Vikings up 30-23.
Senior guard Mike Mallon kept the Lions alive with a two-pointer, that opened the door for Norwood to go on and score the 12 points they needed to take the one point lead. A final foul shot for the extra point sealed the deal and brought the Lions to center court and crowned them district champions.
(Photo Credit: Wave Lane)