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Sports Article
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Tribe Girls End Season with Dominant Victory over Pottstown
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            It took nearly the entire season for Upper Perkiomen's girls basketball team to develop an identity. Like a puzzle, all the pieces seemed to click together during the team's penultimate game, according to Abby Pfander.

            Last weekend, the Indians delivered their top performance in their final contest.

Erin States, center, delivers a shot against Pottstown.

She scored a career high 31 points in Upper Perk-

iomen's 56-20 win.

The trust the players spent the entire season cultivating emerged during a victory on Senior Night.

            The host Indians registered a 56-20 victory over Pottstown on Thursday, Feb. 2. A dominant fourth quarter capped their only two-game winning streak. 

"It took a little bit to get going," head coach Shelli Petsch said. "Eventually, everyone came together. The girls kept pushing to get better."

            Erin States notched a career-high 31 points. She delivered 13 points during the fourth quarter for the Tribe, which shut out the visiting Trojans in the final eight minutes.
            Natalie Kearney finished with 10 points.

            Pfander, one of two seniors, added eight points in her final game for the team. The senior from Pennsburg played her best two defensive games of the season, according to Petsch.

            The coach said the Indians figured out how to succeed without Grace Galbavy, who transferred to Perkiomen Valley. Last season she led them to the Pioneer Athletic Conference playoffs and a berth in the District One playoffs. 

            "It was difficult without her," Petsch said. "But the girls were able to come together. They learned to rely on each other."

            Pfander, a 5-foot-6 senior forward, described the feeling of defeating the visiting Trojans as pure bliss. She claimed the team operated like a well-oiled machine.  "It was a lot of fun," Pfander said. "And it was a great way to go out."            After winning its initial game, the Indians became mired in a long stretch of defeats. They struggled to score consistently, averaging just 21.7 points per game, while allowing more than 45 points during a 19-game losing streak.

            Despite the lack of wins, the team never displayed any dissension, claimed Petsch.

             Pfander said the players remained determined to practice hard and do what was necessary to improve.

            "I always encouraged them to get one percent better, even if they did not have a great practice," the player said.

            The Tribe put together its best defensive game to date in a 39-36 victory over Pioneer Athletic Conference rival Pope John Paul II on Jan. 31. Pfander said everything came together for the players prior to the game.  "We wanted to go out with a bang," she said. "We all wanted to win."

            Against Pottstown, the Indians (3-19 overall, 2-11 PAC) finally displayed the offensive continuity they lacked the previous 21 games while playing textbook defense, said Petsch.

            By the end of the third quarter, the Tribe figured out how to play like a team. Pfander delivered six of her eight points in the second quarter to help the team expand a 9-5 first-quarter lead into a 19-15 halftime advantage.

            States posted nine points in the third quarter to extend her team's lead to 34-20. During the final eight minutes, the Indians delivered 22 points while shutting out Pottstown.

            States scored from the low block and farther away from the basket and Petsch said the offense passed the ball with patience and waited for the options to develop.

            "Everyone contributed," said Petsch, who also loses guard Jo Benensky to graduation. "They all played hard under the basket. Usually only one or two players did that."






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