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Summer a Crucial Season for Upper Perkiomen Basketball Team

            Summertime is no time to rest for the Upper Perkiomen boys' basketball team. Coming off a solidly successful season that saw the boys reach the District 1 playoffs for the first time since 2010, the teammates are staying active in the offseason to build their skills and come back even stronger next


         According to head coach Jared Krupp, several players have benefitted from the team's participation in the Allentown Cedar Beach Summer Basketball Tournament. He said the team plays two games a week against opponents mostly from the Lehigh Valley and New Jersey.

           Most of the teams are more physical than Upper Perkiomen's conference opponents, according to Liam Boyle, who helped lead the Indians to their first post-season appearance since 2010 in February as a point guard.

            "Some of the bigger schools up there could compete in the PAC," he said.

            Upper Perkiomen's participation in the summer league, as well as a weekend team camp at Albright College in June and weekly open gyms at the Upper Perkiomen Middle School, has allowed several players to make significant individual strides, according to Krupp.   

            He said Ryan Kendra, who averaged a team-high 16.7 points per game last season, will enter the new season as more of a de-fensive force.

            Kendra's offensive game continues to grow, according to the coach. He said the player posted multiple games with double-digit points and rebounds to help the Indians go 8-0 at the weekend camp against high school teams from across the country in Reading.

            "Ryan was always the most athletic guy on the floor," Krupp said.

Boyle, who has not been a primary ball handler, said his participation in adult leagues over the summer is helping him learn "how to play off the ball … It should help my game out, and it should help the team out, too."

            Boyle, an incoming senior, said his development should allow Tyler Keyser to handle the ball on some possessions, though he will remain the regular point guard. According to Krupp, the time without the ball in his hands has allowed Boyle to become more of a well-rounded player. Krupp said the 5-foor-10 guard is working to become a more consistent shooter, as well as set good screens to get his teammates open.

            "All that hard work will translate when Liam gets the ball," the coach said. "He is more able to knock down open 3-point shots."

             According to the coach, Jon Brown has emerged as a key performer over the summer. Krupp said the senior forward has be-come one of the Indians' most active rebounders and developed an offensive game.

            "I like how Jon has developed," the coach said. "He has turned himself into a player. He's the kind of guy who can give us a sec-ond-half spark off the bench."

            Upper Perkiomen's success has attracted at least one former team member to return, according to Krupp. He said senior Tyler Whary, who didn't play basketball last season after competing as a freshman and a sophomore, has attended several of the open gyms.

            "Tyler has strength, speed and athleticism," the coach said. "He will be able to rebound, defend and score a little bit."

            This season, Boyle expects the Indians to make a run at a berth in the Pioneer Athletic Conference playoffs. Krupp didn't rule out earning a home district playoff game.

            "We're working so much better," Boyle said. "Our chemistry on the floor has improved. We know each other's games so well."





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