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UPHS Boys Basketball Drops One, Wins one
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2019-12-18

            Sean Boyle's return to the Upper Perkiomen boys basketball team has been seamless. The senior point guard, who missed his entire junior season, is averaging

Sean Boyle converts a layup despite pressure from 

a Brandywine Heights defender. Boyle scored a 

team-high 21 points in the non-league loss last 

Thursday.

17.5 points per game.

            Through the initial five games, his offensive acumen has not been enough to push the Indians to a victory. According to head coach Brandon Hibbler, they are waiting for a third offensive scorer to emerge to complement Boyle and Hunter Flack, a junior point guard. He also said the defense must improve.

            "Hopefully that happens sooner, rather than later," said Hibbler the team's first-year coach. "I thought we'd be better on offense. It's a work in process. We need to take it one possession at a time."

            In its sixth game Tuesday, the Tribe utilized a balanced attack to post its first win of the season. Three players reached double figures in a 51-45 victory over Pottsgrove in the Pioneer Athletic Conference.

            Boyle, the team's shooting guard, scored a team-high 16 points. Flack added 15 points for the Indians (1-2 PAC, 1-5 overall). Drew Kupchak, a 6-foot-1 senior forward, added 11 points.

            Last week, the Tribe dropped their home opener to Schuylkill Valley. John Buddock, a senior guard, delivered a game-high 23 points to lead the Bullets to a 62-49 victory on Thursday, Dec, 12.

            "It's going to take some time to get used to everything," Boyle said after the non-league defeat. "This is a new team with a new coach. We're not 100 percent there."

            The following night, the team lost 69-50 in a road loss to Upper Merion in the Pioneer Athletic Conference. The Indians allowed at least 15 points in every quarter. Flack scored a team-high 17 points. Boyle contributed 16 points.

            The host Vikings, who led 15-10 after one quarter and 35-20 at halftime, had three players reach double figure points. One other scored nine points.

            Against the visiting Falcons, Upper Perkiomen played its most complete game of the season. The team delivered 19 points during the fourth quarter, extending a 32-30 advantage. Boyle and Flack combined to post 16 of those points during the final eight minutes.

            According to Hibbler, Upper Perkiomen's defense needs to hold opponents in the 50s to have a chance. Boyle says the team has the athleticism and quickness to play better at that end of the court.

            "We just have to do it," the player said.

            The Tribe limited the Falcons to 15 points in the fourth quarter. John Ryan McMenamin, who finished with a game-high 17 points, converted two 3-pointers in the final eight minutes.

            Boyle, who missed his entire junior season for reasons he declined to specify, hasn't missed an offensive beat. He converted five 3-pointers in the loss to Brandywine Heights and finished with a team-high 21 points.

            "It feels good to be back," said Boyle, who provided significant scoring off the bench as a sophomore to help the team reach the conference playoffs and qualify for the District One Class 2A Tournament.

            Though he watched just one or two games last season, Boyle said he went to the gym every day to work on his game and completed on an AAU team. The guard said his shot has improved, as has his ball handling and his defense.

            "I feel like I'm better at going to the basket when I need to," Boyle said.

            Boyle scored 12 points in the first half against Brandywine Heights. His 3-pointer from the top of the key brought the Indians within 17-14 early in the second quarter.

            However, the Bullets responded with a 12-2 run. Buddock hit two 3-pointers. Consecutive baskets by Gunnar Wetzel staked them to a 29-16 advantage midway through the quarter.

            Late in the third quarter, the Tribe pulled within 40-33 on three straight points by Rich Clancy. But the team got no closer. Flack, the team's lone returning starter, added 13 points.


 

 

 

 

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