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States Delivers Impressive Performance in Girls Basketball Opener
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2021-01-20

            Erin States came off the floor hoping her debut performance with Upper Perkiomen Varsity basketball team was respectable. When the ninth grader learned how

Erin States attempts a layup during the first half of

Upper Perk's season opener against Pottstown.  

States, a freshman, finished with a game high 28

points.

many points she scored, she began to cry.

            "They were tears of joy," said head coach Matthew Bowe. "Erin was astonished with what she had done."

            States, a freshman post player listed at 6-foot-1, finished with a double-double in her first varsity game for the Indians last weekend. She scored a game-high 28 points and pulled down 12 rebounds off the bench in a 59-48 loss to Pottstown on Jan. 15.

            "We knew Erin had this in her," Bowe said of States, who helped lead the middle school team to a 12-1 record last season. "We wanted her to know she was good enough to be a starter. Before she went in, I told her to make this a game to remember."

            States scored 14 points in each half and pulled down four offensive boards for the Tribe, which trailed 27-24 at halftime. Hannah Keeney contributed eight points. Abby Pfander added six points.

            But the visiting Trojans pulled away in the third quarter. They opened on a 13-2 run, forcing six turnovers with a full court trap to build an insurmountable 40-26 lead. According to Bowe, his team's bad habits emerged against the pressure.  "You can't simulate that kind of quickness in practice," the coach said. "We just ran out of gas."

            Bowe said he was very happy with the way the Indians, who pulled within 43-36 at the end of the third quarter, performed after just 10 days of practice. According to the coach, the team displayed continuity and cohesion in the first half. They connected on multiple passes to shooters off screens.

            A layup by Mackenzie Shaffer capped a five-point flurry that pulled Upper Perkiomen within 17-16 midway through the second quarter. States' three-point play, with 23.3 seconds left in the second quarter, got the Tribe within three points at halftime.

            According to Bowe, States – whose mother Karen played at Cardinal O'Hara High School and Millersville University – has been on the coaches' radar for a few years. He said she had been practicing like a typical ninth grader, intimidated by seniors and missing layups. 

"Erin was nervous," the coach said.

            But against the Trojans, States displayed the interior game she developed over the summer, including a hook shot. She converted multiple layups and hit a 15-foot jumper.

            "Erin has an array of moves," Bowe said. "I'm confident that if we can get the ball to her in the low post, she's going to put the ball in the basket. The key is getting her the ball."

Upper Perkiomen's starting lineup featured only two players with varsity experience, Keeney, a junior swing player and Emma Steffon The roster includes one other who received significant minutes last season, senior guard Olivia Rogers.

            In the season opener, six players with little to no varsity experience received most of the minutes for the Tribe. Two juniors who received minimal playing time last season, Schaffer and Bailey Cahill, started against the Trojans. Three others – States, Pfander and Gabriella Neal –

 made their varsity debuts.


 

 

 

 

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