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Sports Article
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Upper Perk Overcomes Slow Start, Wins Consolation Game of Tournament
Written by Jake Hallman Staff Writer

Indians' forward Tyler Whary attempts a shot only to have the effort stopped at the hoop in Monday's tournament game against Gloucester County Tech in the William Tennent Holiday Classic in Warminster.

        Upper Perk's boys basketball team didn't exactly know what to expect when it traveled to Warminster earlier in the week to take part in the William Tennent Holiday Classic.

        The Indians, under third-year head coach Jared Krupp, hadn't taken part in the tournament in the past, but had high hopes. As it turned out, Upper Perk held its own, going 1-1 in the tournament after winning the consolation game Tuesday afternoon.

        Upper Perk opened the tournament Monday with a 51-29 setback to Gloucester County Tech, but rebounded the following day with a 55-38 victory over Swenson Arts and Tech in the consolation game of the four-team tournament.

        "The Gloucester game wasn't our best showing; however, I don't believe it is a true judge of who we are as a team," Krupp said. "The Swenson game shows who we are. We played with energy and passion, executed on both ends of the floor and closed out a win. The Upper Perk team that played on Tuesday afternoon is a true showing of who we are and how we can compete with any team we play against."

        Against Gloucester County Tech, Upper Perk mustered just eight points at half and couldn't recover from there. The Indians had a rough day shooting, connecting on just 21 percent of its shots from the field, 13 percent from beyond the arc and 50 percent at the line. The effort produced two points in the first quarter, and six in the second before the Tribe nearly tripled that amount in the second half. Krupp said his team had a tough time overcoming Gloucester's 2-3 zone, combined with three of their opponents' front court towering over 6-foot-4.

        Kendra was the only Upper Perk scorer to finish in double digits as he tallied 13 on 40 percent shooting. Sophomore guard Liam Boyle chipped in with six points as five other players combined for 10 points to account for the rest of the scoring. Kendra also led the team in rebounds with five, as did junior Nolan Graber.

        Against Swenson, Krupp and company were anxious to put the Gloucester loss behind them. The mindset showed as Upper Perk used a 9-0 run to close out the first quarter to take a 15-7 lead. That spread opened up to a 33-16 lead at the break, thanks to an offensive attack coupled with an aggressive defense.

        Kendra scored 22 against Swenson, posing a real threat in transition as he attacked the glass, Krupp said. "When he gets out and runs the floor and attacks the rim, he can be a crucial weapon for us," Krupp said.

        Ryan Sitko helped out the win as he poured in a career-high 18 points, including three, three-pointers. Known for his shot, Krupp said Sitko was also a force on defense as well. Boyle helped out the cause with nine points, paired well with strong defensive outings in both games that put the pressure on the opposing guards.

        Before the tournament, Upper Perk lost to Phoenixville on the road Dec. 22. The 64-32 setback saw the Phantoms' Christian Kelly surpass the 1,000-point plateau. The senior, who came into the game averaging a league-high 26-point-per-game, hit the milestone in the second quarter on his third dunk of the night. The Frontier Division leading Phantoms are 5-0 in the league, 9-2 overall, and just had their nine-game win streak snapped Monday as they fell 72-69 in overtime to Bonner-Prendergast in the opening round of the Marple Newtown Tournament.

        Against Phoenixville, Upper Perk found themselves behind, 25-9 after the first quarter and was shut out in the second frame to take a 39-9 deficit into halftime. Kendra was tops for the Tribe in scoring as he scored 14 points, including a pair of three-pointers. Sitko chipped in with seven points, including one three, to go along with his game-high six rebounds. Christian Zera finished with four points and four rebounds, and Hallman notched a three-pointer.

        "It's great to get a solid win and carry some momentum going into the New Year," Krupp said. "Our student-athletes know what kind of team we can be. When we are active on the boards, play energetic defense and execute offensively, we can compete with any team that opposes us."






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