Marple Newtown battles, but Methacton pulls away late

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By Jonathan Vander Lugt

A 76-60 final score can tell a lot of stories.

In a game between a No. 2 seed and a No. 31, those stories can be misleading. A margin that wide generally indicates a blowout, where the lower-ranked team is clearly overmatched.

Despite the score, that was not the case at Methacton in Friday night’s District One first-round playoff tilt with the visiting Marple Newtown Tigers.

The Tigers led by as many as five in the second quarter and were down by just three in the fourth, but Methacton’s stellar group of seniors turned on the jets and pulled away to head to the second round.

“We’ve been in a lot of close games this year,’ Warrior coach Jeff Derstine said. “Our point differential is about plus-14 or 15, but most of our games are tight going into the fourth quarter.’

“They’re a really good team,’ Derstine said of Marple Newtown. “Looking through District One, they’re saying it’s wide open … they can really put the ball in the basket.’

The Tigers, winners of their last six, got off on the wrong foot immediately, falling victim to a 10-2 Methacton run to open the game.

They didn’t mail it in, however, and headed into the second with the score knotted at 18.

At one point in the second, with a pair of Methacton starters on the bench in foul trouble, Marple Newtown held a 27-22 lead — which would prove to be their largest advantage. The Warriors, led by Tom Dyer’s nine in the frame, battled back to head into the half up 36-32.

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