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Sports Article
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Upper Perkiomen Girls Learn Lessons in PAC Playoff Loss
Written by Ernie Quatrani, Correspondent

            The last time the Upper Perkiomen and Spring-Ford basketball teams met, in January of 2021, the Rams obliterated the Tribe with a 63-point victory. In the first

Grace Galbavy, center, prepares to release a shot

during the Pioneer Athletic Conference playoffs. 

She scored a game-high 27 points in Upper Perk-

iomen's loss.

round of the Pioneer Athletic Conference playoffs last week, the teams finally met again at Spring-Ford, and it looked like deja vu all over again as the Rams blitzed to a 42-10 halftime lead.

            But in a measure of how far the team has come in a year, the Indians outplayed Spring-Ford in the second half before losing by a somewhat respectable 66-47 margin.

            The caveat, of course, is the fact that veteran Spring-Ford coach Mickey McDaniel played his bench for most of the second half – eleven players scored for the host Rams. However, it was also a testament to the difference that freshman Grace Galbavy has made to the Upper Perkiomen (15-8) program.

            Galbavy, who scored a game-high 27 points, and sophomore teammate Erin States, who finished with 16, had dominant second halves to combine for all but four of the Tribe's points.

            Spring-Ford, the No. 5 seed in the tournament, went on a 29-2 first half-run to build an insurmountable lead. The Rams (16-5) were sparked by sophomore point guard Anna Azzara who tallied 20 points and held Galbavy to six first-half points.

            Given the magnitude of the game, the atmosphere surrounding the playoffs, and a battle-tested opponent on its home court, Upper Perkiomen head coach Matt Bowe was not surprised that his team, seeded No. 4, was overwhelmed at the start of the contest. But he saw a silver lining.  "If we ever have the opportunity again, we needed this experience," Bowe said. "Hopefully, if we make another run next year, it makes the next step easier."

            With the pressure off in the second half, the Tribe doubled its point total within the first four minutes of the third quarter, with States hitting a pair of 3-pointers.

            Galbavy added two of her own treys later in the quarter, as the Indians outscored Spring-Ford 21-18. States and Galbavy then led a 10-2 run at the start of the fourth quarter to give her team some momentum going into the District One Class 5A playoffs.  "You can tell that they're young," Bowe said of his dynamic duo, "and I think this game was the game that they needed. We play against a lesser team, they always dominate. We play against a better team, they sometimes struggle or they're on."

            Bowe was happy to see his team come alive in the second half. "I wanted them to not lose hope for districts. That makes me excited because that means they still want to play, and I didn't want them to lose that feeling from this game," the coach said.

            The Tribe's 47 points were also the most they had ever scored against a 6A program.

             Bowe sees the valuable lessons that can be taken from emulating the Rams as his team takes steps toward being a competitive, winning program.  "It's an example," Bowe said of Spring-Ford's approach to the game. "I can tell them, 'Hey, remember how they hustled when they were ahead by 30?' You should do that.

            "It helps my coaching out because it's another example of what I want my team to do."

            On Saturday, Feb. 12, Spring-Ford advanced to Wednesday's league championship against Perkiomen Valley by posting a 49-33 victory over Methacton, the tournament's No. 1 seed.






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