Home » Boys’ Basketball: Sadler, Shawaluk rally Perkiomen Valley past Methacton 47-44 for spot in PAC semifinals

Boys’ Basketball: Sadler, Shawaluk rally Perkiomen Valley past Methacton 47-44 for spot in PAC semifinals

COLLEGEVILLE — After a deflating home loss to Spring-Ford six days earlier in the regular-season finale, was history really repeating itself for the Perkiomen Valley Vikings?

Not if a determined Julian Sadler and Kyle Shawaluk had their say.

The senior duo shrugged off a sluggish first quarter in which Methacton quickly built a 12-point lead, rallying to combine for 36 of their team’s 47 points in an exhilarating 47-44 victory in the PAC playoff quarterfinals.

Thanks to Sadler’s game-high 25 points, along with Shawaluk scoring six of his 11 in a pivotal fourth quarter, No. 5 Perk Valley (19-4 overall) survived a physical bout against No. 4 Methacton (16-7) and advanced to Friday’s semifinals for another go-round with top-seeded Spring-Ford.

“To not play up to the level that we know we can, it sucks,” Shawaluk said. “But we regrouped, because it’s a completely different season now. It definitely wasn’t the game plan to get down early, but we stuck together. We knew if we played good defense and hit some open shots, we would come right back into the game.”

Surely, it helps to have the league’s second-leading scorer on your side when you’re in dire need of a spark. Sadler, who took just nine shots against Spring-Ford last week and looked uncomfortable all night, was back on top of his game when his team needed him most. He posted eight points in the second period to turn a 10-point deficit after one quarter into a two-point halftime lead. Later, with the game tied at 33 entering the fourth quarter, Sadler tallied seven more points over the final eight minutes, including a three-point play with 40 seconds left that kept Methacton at arm’s length.

“My teammates and coaches trusted me and had confidence in me to make plays down the stretch,” Sadler said. “We got the looks we wanted. Kyle really helped us in the fourth quarter offensively, and it was a complete team effort where guys did a lot of stuff that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet.”

The Warriors couldn’t have had a better opening period, with senior Alex Hermann and sophomore Christian Matos combining for 15 of Methacton’s 17 points. The Warriors lost a bit of steam after that, and at one point trailed the Vikings by five late in the third quarter. They did utilize an 8-0 run from the end of the third into the beginning of the fourth to go up 36-33 before Shawaluk scored six points on the next two Perk Valley possessions (an and-1 and a 3-pointer), and Methacton never led again.

“Something we’ve talked about all season is putting together four good quarters of basketball, especially against a good team like that,” Methacton head coach Pat Lockard said. “Guys were excited after the first quarter, but that’s just eight minutes of basketball. We didn’t have the same effort after that, and the player that Sadler is, he’s not going to be quiet all game.”

Hermann and Matos led Methacton with 14 points apiece, while Sal Iemmello chipped in seven. Hermann connected on four of five treys, and Matos shot 6 of 13 in his first postseason game, though his attempt at a game-tying triple to force overtime was off the mark.

Now, the Warriors, ranked No. 6 in District 1-6A, will have a long break until their next game in the district playoffs, likely not until Feb. 20 should they receive a first-round bye.

“It’s more of an extended absence within the rhythm of a season where you’re accustomed to playing three games a week,” Lockard said. “We’ll ramp it up as it gets closer and fine tune a few things. We’ll have more time in practice to focus on the details, and hopefully it will reignite our hunger.”

As for the Vikings, they’re thrilled to have another shot at Spring-Ford so soon. The Rams swept the regular-season series, but the talented senior duo of Sadler and Shawaluk took a lot of positive perspective from the defeats.

“The first time, we had a flat first half and dug ourselves a hole,” Sadler said. “The second game wasn’t our best offensively — we played a good defensive game and just couldn’t get shots to fall. We know they are well-coached and have a lot of good kids, so hopefully we’ll bring it in practice knowing we have another shot at them.”

“I’m definitely excited to play them again,” Shawaluk said. “The key is playing four strong quarters. The first two games, we had some really pathetic quarters, and that can’t happen against a good team like that. If we have four strong quarters, we’ll put ourselves in a good position. I like our chances.”

Perkiomen Valley 47, Methacton 44

Perk Valley 7 17 9 14 – 47

Methacton 17 5 11 11 – 44

Perk Valley: Harken 2 0 0-0 4, Sadler 6 3 4-4 25, Shawaluk 2 2 1-1 11, Tagert 1 0 1-2 3, A. Rodriguez 1 0 0-0 2, Wagoner 1 0 0-0 2. Totals 13 5 6-7 47

Methacton: Daddazio 0 0 0-0 0, Conrad 2 0 0-0 4, Iemmello 2 1 0-2 7, Matos 4 2 0-0 14, Hermann 1 4 0-0 14, M. Rodriguez 0 1 0-0 3, Robinson 2 0 0-0 2. Totals 10 8 0-2 44