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Indians Break Silence with First Victory
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2019-01-03

            Upper Perkiomen's boys basketball team celebrated its first victory of the season with conversation. Following a 73–44 victory over Pequea Valley on Dec. 27, the players communicated verbally. Everyone was in good spirits, according to head

Hunter Flack drives for a layup during the first half

of Upper Perkiomen's 29-point victory over Pequea

Valley. Flack scored 14 points in the Dec. 27 game.

coach Jared Krupp.

            "We were actually able to talk," senior Brody Case said. "If we lose, we're not allowed to say anything during the ride home."

           The following night, the team rode home in silence following the championship game of the Fleetwood Tiger Classic. Despite building a seven-point lead through three quarters, the Indians struggled down the stretch.

            The host Tigers captured the tournament title with a 45-38 victory on Saturday, Dec. 28. They overcame a 30-23 deficit with a strong fourth quarter.

            Case and Brent Miller, who averaged 14.5 points, were named to the all-tournament team. Krupp called the title game Upper Perkiomen's most disappointing loss of the season.

            "We did what we needed to do on the first half," Case said. "But we fell apart in the second half."

            According to the coach, the Indians (1-9) maintained their offensive game plan of being patient against Fleetwood's zone defense until fourth quarter.

            "We did exactly what we wanted to do for three quarters," Krupp said. "Fleetwood gathered a whole bunch of momentum during the final eight minutes, and we did not have an answer.

            Upper Perkiomen's offense became too patient during the fourth quarter, according to Krupp.  He said the players' focus shifted from increasing the lead to holding their advantage.

            "It got to the point where no one was able to take a timely shot," the coach said.

            Miller scored a game-high 18 points against Fleetwood. Jake Plessi added 13 points for the Indians, who led 17-13 at halftime.

            According to Krupp, one or two assertive scorers need to emerge. He identified Miller and Hunter Flack, a sophomore guard, as candidates hit a key shot in the waning minutes of a close game. "It's all part of the learning process," the coach said. "None of our guys started the season with much varsity experience."

            In the tournament opener, they dominated Pequea Valley. They had five players score in double figures, and led 22-9 after one quarter. Case poured home a game-high 16 points. Plessl and Hunter Flack each finished with 14 points, while Miller posted 11 points and Drew Kupchak registered 10.

            According to Krupp, his team utilized a trapping defense to force the Braves into multiple turnovers that led to numerous easy transition baskets. "I was very happy that we were able to execute," he said.

            According to Case, Upper Perkiomen – which led 39-19 at halftime – was able to parlay superior athletic ability and a height advantage into numerous fast break points. "It finally felt good to win," he said. "We were the better team."

            Despite the loss to Fleetwood, the Indians appeared focused and determined to improve at practice the following day, according to Krupp. He said the struggles have not dimmed the players' enthusiasm.

            "A lot of teams would have packed it in for the season after starting 1-9," the coach said. "But these losses have hindered our progress. It's very encouraging. I don't think anyone is hanging his head. I can see they are getting better, and so can they."


 

 

 

 

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