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Sports Article
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Tribe Girls Continue to Struggle Offensively in Loss to Bears
Written by Bradley Schlegel Correspondent

Lady Indian Erika Boyer tries to pass the ball during Tuesday night's home game against Boyertown.

        Nursing two sprained ankles, Upper Perkiomen senior Gabi Marinelli watched most of Tuesday night's second half from the bench.

        As visiting Boyertown extended its 40-point halftime lead, Marinelli said she felt an unsettling emotional mix of frustration and disappointment.

        "I wanted to be out there," she said. "This team is so young, and I'm the only one who shoots the ball. I wish there were five of me to run up and down the court."

        Less than three minutes into the third quarter, with the Indians headed to a 70-7 loss in the Pioneer Athletic Conference, head coach Greg Swavely removed Marinelli from the game. Swavely made the move to help preserve his player's health.

        "We wanted to keep her from getting worse," the coach said. "Gabi is so valuable to this team."

        Upper Perkiomen (0-6 PAC-10; 1-11 overall), managed just one field goal, a three-pointer by sophomore guard Lydia Wible with approximately 90 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

        The team has a scoring problem, according to Swavely.

        "It's no secret," he said.  "We have some tough times ahead. Our goal in the off season is to get better at putting the ball in the basket and defend better."

        Marinelli converted four foul shots in the game's initial two minutes. She hit two free throws with 6:44 remaining in the first quarter to put her team ahead 4-2.

        In between, the Bears reeled off 68 consecutive points. Abby Kapp scored a game-high 21 points. Sam Brensinger finished with nine points.

        Katie Armstrong contributed seven points for Boyertown, which had 12 players score. The team posted a 25-point second quarter to build a 44-4 halftime lead and invoke a running clock in the second half.

        "Boyertown has very good team," said Swavely, adding that he was not happy with the effort and intensity of his team. "They had a lot to do with how bad we played."

        According to the coach, Upper Perkiomen is working to bridge a talent gap. He said the players are dealing with realistic expectations.

        "We're asking the girls to play minute by minute, quarter by quarter," Swavely said.

        On Dec. 29, the Indians posted their initial victory of the year. Marinelli scored a game-high 20 points to lead them to a 30-15 win over New Foundations in the consolation game at the William Tennent Tournament.

        "Our defense really stepped up," the coach said. "Our intensity level increased, too. We also rebounded well. We only gave their offense one shot, which is how it's supposed to be."

        A 12-0 run in the fourth quarter sealed the victory, for Upper Perkiomen, which rallied from a 10-7 deficit at the end of the first quarter. Marinelli converted 14-of-28 free throws, while Sierra Kelly scored five points and Valerie Janton added four points.

        Swavely said he hoped the victory would provide the confidence to help the Indians compete in a  current four-game stretch that included PAC-10 opponents Boyertown, Spring-Ford (Friday), Pottstown (Jan. 12) and non-league foe Faith Christian (Jan. 11).






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