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Boyle Leads Tribe Boys to First Conference Win Since 2011
Written by Bradley Schlegel Staff Writer
2016-12-28

        Upper Perk boys basketball head coach Jared Krupp had a strong feeling his team's 72-game Pioneer Athletic Conference losing streak would end on Dec. 22.

        Nick Groff converted a 3-point shot late in the fourth quarter to complete Upper Perkiomen's run from a six-point deficit into a one-point lead. Then, early in overtime, Ryan Kendra's baseline jumper staked the Indians to a two-point lead.

        "At that point, I thought, 'We got this,'" junior point guard Liam Boyle said.

        Krupp felt victory was inevitable.  "We had so much momentum," the coach said. "The way they were playing, I had a feeling it was going to definitely happen."

        When Boyle converted two free throws with four seconds remaining in overtime to clinch the team's 49-45 victory over Pottsgrove, Krupp sat down.

        Boyle called the victory a relief for the Indians (1-2 PAC, 4-3 overall), who claimed their first conference victory since Jan. 19, 2011 – a 59-56 win over Perkiomen Valley.

        "It's about time," said Boyle, a junior point guard. "We worked so hard for this."

        Boyle finished with a game-high 19 points, including converting six consecutive free throws down the stretch. Kendra scored 12 points, all in the second half, and Will Walker added 11 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. Groff and Bo Duka delivered solid defensive efforts, according to Krupp. 

        "It was a solid team effort," the coach said.

        With the victory, Upper Perk has matched its overall win total from the 2015-2016 season. The team has won six of its last nine games dating back to last year.

        The visiting Indians mounted a 10-0 run in the second quarter, despite playing without Kendra – the team's leading scorer, who was whistled for his third foul early in the quarter. . They outscored Pottsgrove 10-4 in the quarter, and led 21-15 at halftime.

        According to Boyle, the Falcons came into the game underestimating his team and its athleticism. He said that attitude changed during the second quarter.  "At that point they saw we were not a pushover," Boyle said.

        Pottsgrove rallied in the third quarter, mounting a 10-0 run. Steve Hein delivered six of the points to help stake his team to a 26-21 lead.

        In the fourth quarter, Kendra helped the Indians rally from a 32-26 deficit. His 3-point basket put the Tribe ahead 35-34 in the waning minutes.

        In overtime, the Indians focused on spreading the floor and making sure Kendra and Boyle, their top two foul shooters, handled the ball most of the time, according to Krupp. The two combined to score the team's six points in overtime from the foul line to secure the win.

        The victory piqued the interest of coaches and players throughout the conference and beyond. Krupp said he received a congratulatory text from Pete Sovia, the former girls head coach at Upper Perkiomen.

        Boyle said he and Kendra were contacted by Dan Brittingham, their AAU head coach and an assistant with theSpring-Ford girls basketball team, by text.

        Krupp allowed his players to enjoy the victory until they started practice the following day. Boyle said the team, which resumed its schedule Wednesday in the Lincoln Leadership Academy Tournament in Allentown, will strive to improve.

        "A winning record in the Pioneer Athletic Conference is possible," the junior said. "It's great that we're not considered a pushover anymore. But we have to keep working."


 

 

 

 

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