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Perkiomen Boys Eliminated from League Playoffs
Written by Bradley Schlegel Correspondent

Perkiomen's Charlie Corrao has the ball stolen from him by a Collegium player as he goes for a shot in Tuesday night's Tri-County League semifinal game played at Perkiomen. Corrao led the team in scoring with 20 points.

                Despite a dominant performance by the opposing point guard, the Perkiomen School boys basketball team still had a chance to force overtime in the waning seconds of Tuesday's Tri-County Independent School League semifinal.

                But a 3-point shot from Martynas Simanavicius hit the rim and bounced away at the final horn. The Panthers' season ended one game short of the league title game.

                Ahmadu Sarnor led the Collegium Charter School to a 59-56 victory. He finished with 26 points, 10 steals and six assists.  Tyler Allen and Max Shiel each finished with 10 points for the visiting Cougars, who will play for the league title Thursday at The Hill School.

                Shiel scored nine points in the fourth quarter to help them hang on for the victory.

Charlie Corrao scored a team-high 20 points for the Panthers, who coverted 9-of-16 foul shots. Simanavicius finished with 19 points. Jaren Hamilton delivered 10 points off the bench in his season debut.

                But it wasn't enough for them to advance in the league playoffs.  "The game came down to a couple of shots we should have made," said Perkiomen School sophomore Josh Brown. "And we missed too many free throws."

                Sarnor scored 13 points in the third quarter to help Collegium rally from a 24-16 halftime deficit.  However, Sarnor's most significant contribution came on three fourth quarter assists that directly led to nine points, according to Panthers' head coach Mark Longstreth.

                "In terms of what he can do with the ball, (Sarnor) is quite a player," the coach said. "He's very tough to defend."

                Playing with four fouls, the guard set up Shiel twice and Gautam Gowsany once for 3-point baskets. Gowsany's shot staked the Cougars to a 52-49 lead with less than our minutes remaining.

                When Sarnor fouled out with 2:22 left in the fourth quarter, Perkiomen School appeared to have an edge. But the team couldn't take advantage.  Simanavicius' follow off a missed foul shot pulled the Panthers within 55-53. On their next possession, he missed a 3-point attempt from the right corner.

                Three Collegium players converted four of six free throws to during a 44-second span to stake the team to a 59-53 advantage with 51 seconds left.  Dillon Larkin's three-pointer from the right wing brought Perkiomen School within 59-56 with 40 seconds left.  After Shiel missed two foul shots with 37 seconds to go, the Panthers had a chance to tie the game.

                Hamilton, who pulled down an offensive rebound, went to the foul line with 19 seconds left. He missed both free throws, but a teammate gathered the rebound and passed it to Simanavicius, who fired up a 3-point shot from the right corner. But it didn't fall.

                "The shots we missed in the fourth quarter we made most of the year," said Longstreth, whose team defeated Barrack Hebrew Academy on Monday in the first round of the playoffs. "They just didn't fall."

                Despite falling behind 8-0 and trailing 14-4 at the end of the first quarter, Perkiomen School dominated the second quarter. Corrao, the team's only senior, scored eight points to highlight a 22-2 run.

                Hamilton, who missed most of the season with an injury, added four points, two rebounds, one steal and one assist during the quarter.  "Jaren gave us a lot of energy," Longstreth said.






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