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Kelly, Mundy lead Tribe to Victory
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Sierra Kelly's dominant interior performance helped Upper Perkiomen's girls basketball team regain its footing during the early moments of Tuesday's non-

league game against Quakertown.

            Kaitlyn Mundy's hard-charging approach down the stretch allowed the team to post a 30-26 victory over the visiting Panthers.

            Head coach Greg Swavely called it signature victory for the program. "This win shows how far we've come," Kelly said.

            Mundy, a junior point guard, delivered the final six points, and to help the Indians (1-2) rally from a one-point deficit. Her driving layup, with 59 seconds remaining, put them ahead for good.

            "This win is a tremendous step for this team," said Swavely, Upper Perkiomen's third year head coach, whose team opened the season with consecutive losses in the Tulpehocken Tournament to the host Trojans (49-23) and Schuylkill Valley (41-23). "The girls have worked so hard since the end of last season. It's about time they get rewarded."

            Kelly, a senior forward, finished with a game-high 15 points, 20 rebounds and six blocks. Twelve of her points came in the second half.

            "Sierra is staring to step up and be the type of player we expected her to be," Swavely said.  Half of Kelly's second-half points came in fourth quarter, after the Quakertown reeled off six consecutive points to erase an 18-12 deficit. Hannah LaBonge's jumper from the right wing forced an 18-18 tie early in the fourth.

            The Panthers led 23-22 on Veronica Best's layup with less than 5:21 remaining. Maggie Garlick's foul shot with 2:26 left put them ahead 26-24.

            A free throw by Mundy pulled the Tribe within 26-25. On its next possession, she delivered the basket on a drive from the left wing with that put her team ahead for good. She converted three of four foul shots in the final 36.9 seconds to trigger a celebration in front of Upper Perkiomen's bench.

            According to Kelly, Mundy has developed into a team leader.  "Kaitlyn didn't volunteer to be the point guard," Kelly said. "But she has done a great job. We know Kaitlyn can push the ball and she is very good at encouraging our younger players."

            Through three games, Mundy has displayed the skills to keep the team working together through adversity, according to Swavely.

            Ayden Pigeon and Erika Boyer each added a basket for Upper Perkiomen, which built a 16-10 lead late in the third quarter on a put-back by Kelly.

            LaBonge then scored six of her team-high eight points during an 8-2 run to force an 18-18 tie for Quakertown early in the final quarter.

            Veronica Best added six points for the Panthers, who started five guards. Maggie Galick registered four points and 12 rebounds. 

            "Just like our last game, the effort was there," said head coach Brittany Renney-Bamford, who is playing with two returning starters. "Getting the ball in the basket is something we have to work on."

            Against Tulpehocken on December 9, Kayla Ramos paced the Indians with 10 points. Mundy, Olivia Rogers and Kelsey Bernhart each added four points. The following day, Kelly paced them with eight points, while Munday added six against Schuylkill Valley.

Upper Perkiomen travels to Brandywine Heights on Thursday before opening its Pioneer Athletic Conference schedule Friday at home against Phoenixville.





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