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New Coach Wants to Make the Game Fun for UPHS Girls
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2019-11-26

            A scrimmage last weekend capped an exciting and positive seven-day period for Upper Perkiomen's girls basketball team. According to new head coach Matthew

Hannay Keeney, left, dribbles past Kelsey Bernhart during at Friday's practice.

Bowe, the home gymnasium was full and loud.

            "The parents and players were cheering," said Bowe, the program's third coach in three seasons. "The girls gave 100 percent. There was a lot of positive energy."

            All 19 players in the program competed in the practice game against visiting Saucon Valley on Saturday, Nov. 23. The Indians scored more than 30 points despite missing half its shots, according to Bowe.

            "Everyone did very well," sad the coach, who is assisted by his brother Eric. "The biggest thing is that the girls moved with and without the ball. No one stood still."

            Though the Tribe has won just five games over the last three years, Bowe – who lives in Collegeville – said his top priority is to make the game fun for the players. His goal is to maintain a varsity and junior varsity team the entire season.

            "It's not about wins and losses," said the coach, whose team opens its season Dec. 6 in the Tulpehocken Tournament against the host Trojans. "I want the girls to enjoy basketball. I think we're going to win more games, then last year. My goal is to motivate the girls have fun playing in November until February."

            A 2009 graduate of Phoenxiville High School, Bowe comes from a basketball family. Last season, he coached the JV girls team at Upper Merion. Before that, he served as an assistant to his brother Francis at Valley Forge Military Academy. Francis Bowe is currently in his second season as the head coach of the Archbishop Carroll boys' basketball team.

            "My brother and I bring a lot of energy and motivation," said Matthew Rowe, who played for the Phantoms.

            During the scrimmage, the team's offense played without fear, according to Matthew Rowe. He said they took the right shots and committed no unforced turnovers.

            "The girls looked like they knew how to play basketball," the new coach said. "They were not afraid to make a decision."

            According to Matthew Rowe, the crowd roared when Garcia scored her first career varsity basket. He said the scene resembled the end of a movie.

            "The place went crazy," the head coach said.

            The roster – which features nine new players, including four sophomores – will be led by a quartet of captains that includes seniors Kelsey Bernhart, Ayden Pigeon, Martina Garcia and junior Olivia Rogers. Bernhart, Pigeon and Rogers have the most varsity experience.

            The program includes senior Jill McAteer, juniors Isabella Goodrich, Brianna Goodwin and Emma Steffon; sophomores Bailey Cahill, Grace Heveran, Hannah Keeney, Mackenzie Schaffer and six ninth graders.

            The new staff has taken the players out of their comfort levels. According to Matthew Rowe, each player has learned all five positions on the floor.

            In the scrimmage, several players competed in unfamiliar positions. Pigeon, the team's point guard, played off the ball. Bernhart, a post player, saw time in the back court, according to the coach.

            "My philosophy is no one is bigger than the team," he said.


 

 

 

 

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