Boys hoops: Methacton vs. Spring-Ford championship preview with prediction

PAC BOYS BASKETBALL FINAL 6
Championship: Tuesday, Feb. 13
At Pottstown High, 7 pm
 
(3) Methacton vs. (5) Spring-Ford, 7 pm
 
Records:
Spring-Ford: 15-9 overall (Regular season: 5-5 Liberty, 8-5 PAC)
Methacton: 17-7 overall (Regular season: 7-3 Liberty, 10-3 PAC)
 
Previous meetings: Methacton swept the season series 2-0, winning 80-75 on Dec. 19 and 60-56 on Jan. 23
 
How Methacton got here: The Warriors went wire-to-wire for a 65-53 win over slow-starting Frontier Division champion (2) Upper Perkiomen, keyed by Brett Eberly (19 points, 5 treys, 6 rebounds), David Duda (19 points) and Jeff Woodward (15 points, 13 rebounds, 5 blocks). Methacton raced out to a 16-4 first-quarter lead and pulled away in the second half after the Indians (2-20 FG in first quarter) closed within 28-22 at the break. Easily handled (6) Owen J. Roberts 56-34 in opening round of playoffs
 
How Spring-Ford got here: Nestor Diaz hit a free throw with 0.7 seconds left in overtime to secure a 44-43 victory over top-seeded Norristown. Diaz returned from a high ankle sprain after missing two games, including a 68-54 triumph over (4) Phoenixville in the opening round, to score 10 points on 4-5 shooting. Noah Baker added 11 points and 8 boards before fouling out late in the fourth quarter and Austin Hokanson added 10 points. Spring-Ford overcame 18 turnovers and 35 percent (17-48) shooting in the triumph, getting the job done at the defensive end.
 
Methacton at a glance: Winners of 6 straight, with an average margin of victory plus-17 during that span … 12-2 over last 12 games … Seeded No. 10 in District 1-6A field, host PAC rival (23) Perkiomen Valley in opening round Friday night (7 pm) … Average 59.4 ppg,, allow 52.8 … Rely heavily on 3-pointer with league-high 177 triples on the season – nearly 8 per game … 6-9 sophomore center Jeff Woodward is a beast in the paint, averaging a double-double on the season … Sophomore guard Brett Eberly is a lethal force at the arc in the PAC playoffs with 8 treys in 2 games while averaging 15.0 ppg ... Four straight championship game appearances between 2011 and 2015, winning titles in 2014-15 (74-63 over Pottsgrove) and 2011-12 (58-57 over Spring-Ford) … Coached by Jeff Derstine.
 
Spring-Ford at a glance: Winners of 4 straight … 7-3 over last 10 … Seeded No. 11 in District 1-6A field, hosts (22) North Penn in opening round Friday night (7 pm) … Third straight appearance in PAC championship game - losing last season to Perk Valley 52-45 and beating Perk Valley 54-48 in OT in 2015-16 … Average 58.0 ppg and allow 54.5 ppg … Coached by Chris Talley
 
Methacton players to watch: 6-3 G David Duda (18.0 ppg, 70 treys), 6-4 F Noah Kitaw (9.9 ppg, 33 treys), 6-9 C Jeff Woodward (12.0 ppg, 11 rpg), 5-10 G Brett Eberly (7.5, 37 treys), 6-0 G Marcus Girardo (5.8 ppg)
 
Spring-Ford players to watch: 6-3 F Noah Baker (15.9 ppg), 5-11 G Nestor Diaz (12.6 ppg, 41 treys) G Harrison Pierce (7.9 ppg, 35 treys), 6-3 F Robert Bobeck (7.7 ppg), 6-4 F Austin Hokanson (7.8 ppg), PG Ryan Hagan (5.5 ppg),
 
Prediction: Methacton 59, Spring-Ford 56