Thursday, February 2nd was a big night for PV girls basketball; one that would end well for one team, but the other would carry the weight of a heavy loss. The winner of the game against their rival school, would be determined by grit, stamina, perseverance, work ethic, and strength.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game,”, #11 forward, Lena Stein said.
PV asserted their will immediately when Quinn Boettinger won the tip-off and then went on a 5-0 run which introduced the energy that would carry throughout the game. Sophomore guard Julia Smith agreed.
“Coming out strong in the 1st quarter is always what you need to set the game,” Smith said.
For the rest of the 1st quarter, PV dominated, clearly in control of the game. On the bench, the team and coaches jumped in excitement, the student section chanting in support. The crowd was full on both sides of the court as they anticipated which team would take home the win. By the end of the 1st, PV was winning 14-13.
The 2nd quarter got dicey, and PV had to rely on their defensive skills to stay in the game. In the middle of the quarter, head varsity coach John Russo called for a time-out. The girls sat down, winded and in need of a little breather.
“It’s mental. We’ve definitely learned you’ve gotta stay in it. If your shots aren’t falling then go get the rebound, go get a stop on defense, like those are things that change the game.” Stein said.
During the first half, Anna Azzara, Spring-Ford’s motor, hit a bucket for her 1,000th career point, which was huge for her. The Spring-Ford student section went wild for her achievement; however, this did not keep the lady Vikings from backing down. Compared to the first meeting versus Spring-Ford about a month ago, the team seemed to have much more control over the game.
“I was locked in on D and made sure that I did not make anything easy for her,(Azzara)” Stein said.
Despite missing six shots and a rough start to the 2nd quarter, PV still held the lead 26-23 at the half.
In the second half of the game, sophomore Grace Galbavy was on fire. For the first part of the 3rd quarter, PV went cold, missing their first 6 shots. Galbavy put the team on her back and never let the Rams take control of the game.
“She was a star under pressure and there’s nothing we could ask more of her,” Stein said.
For the 2nd half of the 3rd quarter, the game pace slowed down and the teams ran more of a set offense. PV slowed down the pace of the game, which did not necessarily work in their favor. It appeared they controlled the flow of the game when pushing the ball: however, any time they gave up the lead, their defense bailed them out. By the end of the 3rd quarter, it was clear that the game was in PV’s power.
“Last game we played Spring-Ford we didn’t really play our basketball. In this game, we focused on the little things we did well and we played as Perk Valley,” Stein said.
During the fourth quarter, Spring-Ford caught up a little bit and built some tense energy in the gym. PV continued to run their set offensive approach and spectators watched in silence waiting to see what would happen. Within the last minute, Spring-Ford maxed out their team fouls, giving PV the opportunity to gain more points. The energy in the gym buzzed with excited students, parents, and siblings.
“We were very excited, we were pumped up, we were like this is ours, we got this, we put everything into this. And to see it finally come together, there’s nothing better than your team at the end of the game,” sophomore Quinn Boettinger said.
When the game ended, the gym erupted in happy shrieks and a huge team hug as Perk Valley took the win 44-37.