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Tribe Girls Flash Offensive Potential
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2023-01-25

             Upper Perkiomen's offense flashed its potential during the fourth quarter of a loss last weekend and Erin States displayed her offensive versatility down the stretch during a 52-36 loss to Owen J. Roberts in the Pioneer Athletic Conference on Saturday,

Upper Perk junior Erin States takes a shot during the first

quarter of Tuesday's game against Upper Merion.

Jan. 21.

             States, a junior post player, delivered 12 of her team-high 18 points in the final eight minutes. Natalie Keaney and Dana Cahill each added three points for the Tribe, which delivered 20 points during the quarter, a season-best.

             The outburst provided solace for head coach Shelli Petsch during a challenging season. The first-year coach said the key is figuring out how to get the Indians to play that way for the rest of the game.  "The fourth quarter was beautiful," Petsch said. "The girls settled down, and played the way I know they can."

             The Tribe's offensive outburst against Owen J. Roberts wasn't enough to avoid a loss in the PAC crossover game. Despite its struggles, the team never quit, according to the coach. She said the players don't check out mentally.  "It's definitely been a tough season," States said. "But this team will not back down. We will continue to play together. This is a very, very, very close team."

             Gabrielle Koury and Asya Price led the visiting Wildcats to victory. Koury, a senior, finished with a game-high 22 points. Price, a junior, delivered 15 points.

             Both guards combined to spark the decisive second-quarter run. They combined to score 10 points during a 12-0 run to expand a 13-10 lead early in the second quarter. Koury's steal and layup late in the second quarter staked her team to a 25-10 advantage.

            Owen J. Roberts took advantage of numerous bad passes and subpar ball handling by the Indians. Petsch said they've done a much better job taking care of the basketball in recent outings.  "This is the first time we've bled turnovers in a long time," the coach said of the Tribe, which committed 27 turnovers, including 15 in the first half.

           Upper Perkiomen's guards started getting the ball to States in the low block and on the wing. She started her flurry with a foul shot 13 seconds into the fourth. She added a 3-pointer from the left wing off a pass from Abby Pfander.  "We have a few set plays to get Erin the ball beyond the 3-point line," Petsch said. "She has a beautiful shot."

            Benensky, Natalie Kearney and Pfander each assisted a layup by States, who completed her run by converting her own miss. Scoring opportunities have been a challenge for the junior, who usually faces double and triple teams.

            Three days later, Jo Benensky scored in double figures in a home game against Upper Merion. However, it wasn't enough to help the Indians avoid a 41-30 loss to Upper Merion in the Frontier Division.

            Benensky, a senior guard, finished with a team-high 12 points. Abby Davidheiser, Makayla Marshall and Hannah Guffey each delivered three points for the team.
            Levayda Fuqua scored a game-high 19 points for Upper Merion, which led 8-6 after the first quarter, 18-15 at halftime, and 29-23 through three quarters.

            Against Spring-Ford on Thursday, Jan. 19, the visiting Indians suffered a 73-20 loss in the Pioneer Athletic Conference. States finished with a team-high 13 points.  Abby Davidheiser scored three points. Jenna Langenbeck and Abby Pfander each added two points.

             Petsch lauded her team's performance in the second half. She said its effort forced Rams head coach Mickey McDaniel to put his starters back in the game.

            At halftime of the JV and varsity games against the Owen J. Roberts and Upper Merion, female members of the Upper Perk Youth Basketball Program competed on the high school court. Brenda Diehl, a board member and a coach, described the night as the highlight of their season.

            "Although a little nervous, they are all smiles and having fun once they get on the court," Diehl wrote in an email message.

            The program – which includes 60 girls between first and sixth grades – strives to build strong, confident, independent young ladies and foster their love of the game of basketball, according to Diehl.  "Our goal is to advance the skill of each player while having fun," she wrote.


 

 

 

 

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