Hometown Sports
Don't Miss

Penns Valley comes back for a 51-40 win over Philipsburg-Osceola.

By Pat Rothdeutsch

The Penns Valley Rams and the Philipsburg-Osceola Mounties split their two league games this season, and there was no reason to believe the matchup between the two on Tuesday night in the District 6, 3A Quarterfinals would be anything but a nail-biter.

It wasn’t. The two teams jostled back-and-forth for more than three quarters with neither one gaining any significant advantage.

But Penns Valley rallied in the fourth quarter. A Zach Braucht jump shot broke a 40-40 tie with three minutes to play, another one by Aiden Culver upped the lead to four points, and then Maclain Welshans’ three-pointer propelled the Rams to a tense 51-40 win over the Mounties.

Between Culver and Welshans’ baskets, the Rams came up with two clutch defensive stops and ran a nearly flawless stall game that took more than a minute of valuable time off the clock.

The result was that PV scored the last 11 points in the game and claimed a victory in what was possibly the most important contest of the season for both teams.

The Rams now advance to the district semifinals against the winner of the No. 2 Richland against No. 10 Northern Cambria game on Saturday, February 26 on the home floor of the higher seed.

Also, because four teams from 3A will advance to the PIAA State Tournament, PV has assured itself a spot in the state tournament.

Nothing was easy for either team all night in what was a very physical contest. Early on, P-O broke out early to leads as big as eight points, but PV hung in, as it would all night, and eventually closed to within two points by halftime.

The second half was more of the same, and every time P-O threatened to pull away, PV answered.

A follow up by the Mounties Nick Johnson and two three-pointers by Jeremy Whitehead at one time gave P-O a six-point lead midway through the third quarter.

But Braucht and Culver each scored again, and the two teams entered the final quarter with P-O holding just a two-point lead.

And as the fourth quarter wore on, Philipsburg began to struggle from the field, and the Rams were able to put together their rally.

“At halftime, we adjusted some things and we just wanted to match our energy from the first half,” Penns Valley head coach Robert Irwin said. “The kids came out, inspired, and ready to go.

“No one was being selfish. We played team ball, and we just took what they were giving us.”

Braucht led the Rams with 15 points in the game, followed by Welshans and Culver who both scored 11.

Penns Valley will now await the winner of the Richland against Northern Cambria game with that winner advancing to the D6 Final scheduled for March 2.

“It played out well for us, that’s for sure,” Braucht said. “I feel great. This is the sweetest win, you know, we had to get to these guys. They beat us twice last year, and we split with them this year. We wanted to beat these guys more than anything.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *