Thursday, February 7, 2013

BOYS BASKETBALL: Four fast finishes vie for best finish in the PAC-10 playoffs

Methacton’s Brendan Casper, right, and Perkiomen Valley’s Rasaan Stewart have helped their respective teams reach the PAC-10 playoffs this season. Casper (21.9 ppg) and the Liberty Division champion Warriors face Frontier runner-up Phoenixville in a league semifinal tonight (7:45 p.m.) after Stewart and the Vikings face Frontier winner Pope John Paul II in the other semifinal (6 p.m.) Both games are part of a doubleheader at Spring-Ford. (Adrianna Hoff/JRC)

By Jeff Stover

Fast finishes were a hallmark of the Pioneer Athletic Conference this winter.
The circuit’s top schools, across the board, came on strong down the stretch to solidify their positions at the top of the regular-season standings. Now, the question will be which of the front-runners will be able to maintain that pace in the postseason — and come away with a championship.
The PAC-10’s Franklin K. Manley “Final Four” playoffs get under way tonight at Spring-Ford High School, with a doubleheader pitting the top teams from the Liberty and Frontier Divisions. It’s return trips for two clubs (Methacton, Pope John Paul II), and the end of multiple-year absences for two others (Perkiomen Valley, Phoenixville), yet all share one common thread.
That sprint to the finish line.
“Our playoffs started with six league games left,” head coach Randy Reber said of his Phantom unit, which won six of its last 10 games after starting the year 5-7. “The kids worked hard and responded well. They had to learn how to play together at the offensive end.”
Phoenixville will face defending PAC-10 champion Methacton in the nightcap of the opening-round doubleheader, their tip-off scheduled for approximately 7:45 p.m. Kicking off the twinbill will be Pope John Paul II and Perkiomen Valley at 6 p.m.

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