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Sports Article
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Upper Perk Fades in Loss to Christopher Dock
Written by Jake Hallman Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Dec. 23, Upper Perk boys basketball played its final game for 2014 at home against Phoenixville, who won, 44-59. Above, Cole Kendra attempts to tip one in late in the second quarter.  Kendra had seven points in the contest.

                Something had to give when Upper Perkiomen's boys basketball team traveled to Lansdale Monday night to take on host Christopher Dock in the Christopher Dock Holiday Tournament.

                Both squads came into the contest winless, a combined 0-12 in the early goings of the 2014-15 season. As it turned out, it was the Indians' composure that gave out midway through the fourth quarter as a deadlocked game with 4:22 left in regulation quickly snowballed into the 66-53 final.

                With the win, Dock moved on to play Springfield High School in the championship game Tuesday night. Upper Perk (0-4, 0-7), meanwhile, advanced to play the consolation tilt against Upper Moreland in a game too late for this newspaper's deadline.

                Despite the late-game collapse, the game marked some of the Tribe's most consistent play to date. The Indians took a one-point lead, 12-11, after the first quarter and were out in front 40-38 headed into the final stanza. Upper Perk's biggest lead was a five-point spread it opened up late in the third quarter, a quarter in which the Indians outscored the Pioneers (0-2, 1-8), 16-11.

                It all happened as senior point guard Matt Ruskey converted on a layup thanks to a steal from Spensir Millsip. Ryan Kendra followed with a lay-up, as did Millsip on the ensuing possession to put the visitors out in front, 36-31, with 3:04 left. Dock rallied to trim the lead, but Upper Perk's Christian Rodenberger scored four of his six points in the final two minutes to maintain the Tribe's advantage.

                Upper Perk's lead quickly evaporated, though, in the fourth quarter as Dock tied up the game in its first possession. The Tribe managed to take the lead twice over the next two minutes, but Dock took a lead it wouldn't relinquish midway through the period. Over the closing minutes of the contest the Pioneers went on a 21-8 run that secured the win, including a 13-point run in a span of two minutes.

                Ruskey finished with a team-high 13 points for the Tribe, including a 7-9 showing from the foul line. Kendra (three steals) tallied 12 points, splitting them up evenly in the first and second halves. Millsip chipped in with nine points, and Rodenberger (five rebounds) and Dylan Croissette, who was the Tribe's leading scorer at the half, both tallied six apiece. Nate Weinstein pulled down seven rebounds to go along with his four points. Freshman Liam Boyle pulled down four boards and Millsip finished with a pair of steals.

                Upper Perk, which limited its turnovers comparatively, finished with 14, but was a cold 1 for 15 on shooting from beyond the arc. Both teams previously met in the preseason, with Dock under the direction of first-year coach Mike Fergus, who formerly coached at Upper Perk.

                In action before the Christmas break, Upper Perk fell to Phoenixville Dec. 23. The Indians took a slim, one-point lead into halftime, 27-26, but were outscored, 32-18, in the third and fourth quarters. The Phantoms, who were without leading scorer DeAndre Gadsden, still managed a game-high 22 points from Christian Kelly to pull away.

                Weinstein notched a team-high 17 points for the Tribe, doing most of the damage in the paint, as he also collected seven rebounds. Millsip tallied 12 points (all off of four three-pointers) to go along with seven boards and Kendra chipped in with seven points.






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