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  • Local Bowling News
  • Tribe Boys Fall in Fourth Quarter
  • Tribe Wrestling Qualifies for District One Team Duals
  • Hang Earns USA Swimming Scholastic All-America Honor
  •  Perkiomen Swimmers Drop Meet to Blair
  • Kuhns Repeats as MAC Wrestling Champion
  • Panthers National Team Posts 10th Straight Win
  • Fisher, Lesko Receive All-SEPA Honors; Freed Named Co-Coach of Year
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Sports Article
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Panthers End Season on 'Instant Classic' Loss
Written by By Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Perkiomen School's bid to return to the Final Four of the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association state tournament ended on the game's final shot.

            A driving layup by Jalen Gaffney as time expired lifted Westtown School to a

Keeshawn Kellman takes a shot during Perk-

iomen School's state tounrment victory over

Springside Chestnut Hill.

68-67 victory in a second round game on Saturday, Feb. 16. The Panthers' Twitter account described the game as an instant classic.

            Gaffney, a recruit of the University of Connecticut's mens basketball team, converted the decisive basket as time expired. Driving down the lane, he made contact with Connor O'Brien and tossed up a shot which hit the back of the rim, bounced up and through the rim. 

            A turnover by Perkiomen School at the same end of the floor set up the dramatic finish. According to head coach Thomas Baudinet, the team didn't do a good enough job preventing Gaffney was gaining possession on the inbound play.

            "We had several chances to close out the game in the final quarter," Baudinet said. "But we couldn't do it."

            Chris Arcidiacono scored a team-high 20 points for the Panthers (16-13), who led by six points with five minutes remaining, then built a three-point advantage with one minute left in the fourth quarter. Keeshawn Kellman delivered 14 points, while Niels Lane (13) and Philip Byriel (11) also reached double figures in points.

"Both teams competed at a very high level," the coach said.

            The Panthers, seeded No. 7, opened the state tournament with a 76-53 victory over Springside Chestnut Hill one day earlier. Lane scored a game-high 21 points.

            Baudinet described the junior guard from Freehold as a talented athlete who   can score, defend on the post and push the ball in transition.  "When Niels is focused, he plays with a lot of ability," the coach said.

            Kellman contributed 17 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Tautvydas Kupstas added 16 points for the Panthers, who posted their fifth consecutive victory.

            According to Kellman, the team displayed significant improvement since Baudinet challenged its members. Following consecutive road losses to St. Benedicts (Jan. 17) and Phelps School (Jan. 21), Baudinet made practice more competitive. "He wanted to make a change," the 6-foot-8 senior from Allentown said. "We played two pretty bad games."

            Each player was forced to earn his playing time, according to Kellman. The center said he spent a week practicing with the second team, and felt motivated to play has hard as he could and improve and help his teammates succeed.

            "I really liked the shift," said Kellman, who will continue playing basketball at Princeton University next season. "It helped me make better decisions on the floor."

            According to Baudinet, his team has played much better over the three previous weeks. He said his players have displayed increased maturity and focus in practice over that span. "We've made some real good strides," the coach said.

            Against the Blue Devils, Perkiomen School scored eight in the initial 11 points, then extended its lead to 18-11 late in the first quarter on a 3-pointer by Connor O'Brien, a senior guard from Perkiomenville who finished with six points. 

            "I was not happy with our defensive intensity in the first quarter," Baudinet said. "But it got better as the game went on."

            In the second quarter, Arcidiacono dished out three of his six assists to help the team expand its advantage to 17. Kupstas poured in eight points, and Lane registered seven points in the second. Andrew Patnode, a junior from Saratoga, N.Y. hit two free throws with 1:06 remaining in the quarter to put the Panthers ahead 37-20. 

            After Springside Chestnut Hill pulled within 45-32 midway through the third quarter, the host Panthers mounted a 17-8 run to take command of the game. Kellman converted three straight baskets to put them ahead 62-40 early in the fourth quarter.






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