Monday, January 30, 2023

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Croisette, Tribe Fight Hard but Fall Short of PAC-10 Victory
Written by Bradley Schlegel Correspondent
2016-02-03

Upper Perk junior Nick Groff drives past a Falcons' defender as he moves towards the basket in Friday night's game at home against Pottsgrove.

        Dylan Croissette says the Upper Perkiomen boys basketball teen sent its final two Pioneer Athletic Conference opponents into halftime wondering "what the heck was going on."

        "I think both of those teams slept on us," Croissette said.

        On Thursday, Jan. 28, the Indians trailed by only six points at halftime against Pope John Paul II. They pulled within one point in the third quarter, only to suffer a 55-49 loss.

        The following night, as the team honored its three seniors, the Falcons rallied from a five-point, third-quarter deficit to post a 62-50 win.

        Despite making significant progress since the November, the Indians finished winless in the PAC-10 for the fifth consecutive season.

        "I feel like we're right there," head coach Jared Krupp said after Friday night's loss. "We need to learn to win. We've got to play 32 minutes instead of 26 minutes."

        According to Croissette, Upper Perkiomen would have posted its first PAC-10 victory since the 2010-2011 season if it had a couple more games.

        "We just ran out of schedule," he said.

        Against Pope John Paul II, the Indians pulled within 35-34 at the end of the third quarter. They missed six of nine foul shots in the fourth quarter, when they were outscored 20-15. Ryan Kendra scored a team-high 14 points.

        On Friday, following a ceremony to recognize Christian Zera, Ryan Sitko and Croissette,  they set out to end PAC-10 losing streak against Pottsgrove.

        Despite falling behind 17-6 late in the first quarter, Upper Perkiomen utilized a strong second quarter to go ahead. Kendra delivered seven points in the second, and Liam Boyle hit two 3-point goals to help the team build a 32-29 halftime edge.

        Croisette was sure Pottsgrove's players couldn't fathom how they weren't in the lead.

        "We punched them in the mouth," he said.

        Kendra's running one hander in the lane less than three minutes into the third quarter ballooned the Indians' lead to 36-31. However, Pottsgrove responded with 13 consecutive points. A layup by Nik Curnew, off a steal by Dayon Doctor, staked the team to a 44-36 advantage.

        A foul shot by Kendra pulled the Indians within 46-43 early in the fourth quarter. But they got no closer.

        The Falcons, who took advantage of six Upper Perkiomen turnovers in the fourth quarter, scored six of the next eight points to go ahead 53-45.

        "We don't know how to win," said Croissette, a two-year varsity player.

        Krupp explained his team's struggles as an inability to execute down the stretch.

        "We've got to prove we can execute in key moments," the coach said. "We can hit shots up 10 points or down 10 points. But when the pressure is on, we have not been able to convert."

        Kendra finished with a team-high 18 points for the Indians. Croissette added eight points, and Boyle chipped in with seven.

        Their three seniors have carried themselves all season  with maturity and professionalism, according to Krupp.

        "They have all grown as people," he said.


 

 

 

 

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