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Indians Play Ideal Pace for Half of Loss to Phoenixville
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2020-01-08

            Upper Perkiomen played the first half of last weekend's game against Phoenixville at a methodical pace. The result was a tie score.

Drew Kupchak, left, swats the ball away from a Phoenixville
player.

            "That's the way we always need to play," head coach Brandon Hibbler said.

            However, the team the third quarter with three consecutive turnovers, which the visiting Phantoms converted into six consecutive points. According to Hibbler, his players reverted to previous tendencies.

            "Old habits are hard to break," the first-year coach said.

            Stephen Hamilton scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half to lead Phoenixville to a 62-35 victory in the Pioneer Athletic Conference on Friday, Jan. 2. Christopher Weiah and Mike Memmo each added eight points during the final 16 minutes. Memmo finished with a game-high 17 points.

            "We need to put four quarters together," Hibbler said. "When we do that, we're going to surprise somebody."

            Sean Boyle scored a team-high 11 points for the Tribe (0-5 PAC, 2-10 overall), which scored 14 points in the second half. Hunter Flack added seven points.

            In the first half, Boyle scored nine points and Drew Kupchak added seven for Upper Perkiomen, which went into halftime tied 21-21. According to Hibbler, the team played at a pace necessary to complete in the conference. On offense, it made several passes in a patient half-court offense. Its defense limited the Pantoms' second-chance shots.

            Cole Kendra's fast-break layup at the end of the first quarter capped an 8-0 run and staked the Tribe to a 12-8 lead. Five consecutive points late in the second quarter put them ahead 21-18 with 1:29 remaining before halftime.

            Flack's basket ended the flurry. Kupchak contributed four points and one assist during the run.

            "I keep telling the guys the clock is our friend, even if we don't score," Hibbler said.

            However, the Phoenixville opened the third quarter with a press that forced Upper Perkiomen into turnovers on this initial three possessions that each led to a basket.

            "That really took us out of our game," said Boyle, who dealt with foul trouble for most of the game before fouling out with 2:10 remaining in the fourth quarter. "We sped up too much. We need to figure out how to push through that."

            According to Hibbler, his players panicked. He said their instinct to attempt to run with a more athletic team took over.

            "Trying to play their style is not going to work," the coach said. "We didn't do a good job moving the ball. It was one pass and shoot."

            Though Phoenixville's third-quarter lead ballooned to 37-25 late in the third quarter, the Indians continued to battle. Flack's jumper from the right wing with one minute remaining in the quarter pulled them within 39-30.

            However, the Phantoms opened the fourth quarter with a 12-2 run. Memmo's 3-pointer from the left wing staked them to a commanding 51-33 edge.

            Hibbler lamented his team's inability to convert foul shots. The Tribe made just 7-of-16 free throws.

            "Making half of the shots we missed would have really helped," the coach said.

            Five days later, the team lost 82-47 to Pottstown. Boyle delivered a team-high 16 points and Hunter Flack added 11 for Upper Perkiomen, which trailed 43-26 at halftime.

            Donovan Towson paced the host Trojans to a Frontier Division victory with 19 points on five 3-pointers. Robert Burress contributed 16 points.


 

 

 

 

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