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Lady Indians Basketball See Improvement in the Win Column
Written by Ernie Quatrani, Correspondent
2018-02-08

            The Upper Perk girls basketball team concluded a difficult but, in some ways, rewarding season with a 49-30 loss to visiting Kutztown on Monday.

            Coach Greg Swavely said goodbye to the only two seniors on the team, Erika Boyer and Sierra Kelly, who served as the role models on a squad that included eight freshmen and three sophomores.

            Despite only a modest improvement in the Tribe's won-loss record, going from one win last season to four this year, Kelly's observation about the team culture could have been lifted from a certain local pro team that won the Super Bowl on Sunday.

            "The coaches and the team were there for each other, like one big family," Sierra related. "When I come to practice, I'm not just here for the practice, I'm here for people to support me and get me through the day as well."

            Boyer agreed with her teammate's assessment. "This is a super-fun team. Everybody is super-playful and happy with each other and, for the most part, get along pretty well."

            Boyer and Kelly tried to help by imparting lessons from their experiences, emphasizing that what they do in practice, especially in the area of focus, translates on game day.

            'They're young, so they get distracted easily," Sierra noted.

            Swavely was appreciative of his senior's efforts. "They provided great leadership. We haven't won a lot of games the last three years, but they stuck with it."

            After the game on Monday, Swavely reminded the team that any lesson they absorbed on the court, such as working through adversity, "is a life lesson. I'm proud of them for that."

            He added, "We played hard. We did improve."

            Against Kutztown (5-16), the Tribe's chronic problems, turnovers and an anemic offense, reared their heads in the second quarter and were compounded by foul problems as the whistle-happy referees called 43 fouls on both teams combined.

            Kaitlyn Mundy (11 points) gave the Tribe a 13-12 lead a minute into the second stanza, but Upper Perk would not score again Mundy hit a jumper at the start of the third quarter.

            The Cougars Rachael McCoach (13 points), meanwhile, was a one-girl show, tallying all ten of the visitor's second quarter points. Six of those came from the foul line.

The Tribe (0-10, 4-18) had some first quarter success getting the ball inside to Kelly, easily the tallest player on the court, and she scored five of her ten points.

"We knew they were small," Swavely explained. "Our game plan was to try and get it into Sierra, but when they started to double and triple-team her, we needed other people to step up."

But, they did not. Twenty-six turnovers did not help the cause.

The game was out of reach by the time Kutztown's Maria Marmarou capped a 23-2 run with a couple of minutes left in the third quarter to boost the Cougar's lead to 35-15.

Scoring will be a point of emphasis for next season.

"We got to work on our offense," Swavely said after the game. "That has to get better. That's our top priority going into the off-season."

Kelly is appreciative of the coaches' patience in "dealing with everything. It's definitely hard trying to coach not only freshmen and sophomores but sticking through it."


 

 

 

 

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