Perkiomen's Nizar Kopic goes up for a shot in Saturday's home game against Lower Moreland. Kopic score seven points in the game.
A high basketball IQ is not required to know that more turnovers than points at the final buzzer equals a loss. Such was the case for the Upper Perkiomen girls basketball team in a 43-19 setback to Perkiomen Valley at home on Friday night.
The Tribe turned the ball over 20 times in dropping their fifth straight PAC-10 contest to fall to 1-7 in the league (3-9 overall).
Ominously, Upper Perk threw the ball away on its very first possession and five more turnovers in the first quarter alone helped the Vikings (4-4, 7-9) race to a 9-2 lead after the opening period.
The Tribe did not score until Holly Crossin (team high 10 points) notched a bucket with 1:26 left in the quarter.
It is usually a plus to read that a team doubled its scoring output in the second quarter. Not this time. Buckets by Crossin and Stacey Auckland brought the Tribe to within 14-6 halfway through the quarter, but another offensive problem, poor shooting, reared its ugly head as Upper Perk missed layups on consecutive trips down the floor and could not further cut into the lead.
Perk Valley went into intermission ahead 16-6.
Upper Perk had its most productive period in the third with nine points, highlighted by a Kim Kachmar trey, but the Vikings still lengthened the lead to 26-15.
In the final quarter, the visitors, who are now in the midst of a four game PAC-10 winning streak, salted the game away, thanks in large part to 6’0 Mikki Guiton (game high 16 points), who dominated inside.
The Tribe’s offense has been in a funk for a couple of weeks. In the three games preceding the Perk Valley game, the team managed only 24, 22, and 14 points. Prior to this drought, the team had averaged almost 40 points per game.
“We have experienced a long stretch here where we really struggled to score. That was pretty evident,” said head coach Pete Sovia.
Turnovers, obviously, are a major issue. The solution?
“We have to work on our plays, work on communicating with each other,” said Kim Kachmar, “We talk about not letting (turnovers) happen. If things get out of hand, we try our best to calm down. That’s why we have timeouts; calm down, and then get right back in the game.”
As for the shooting woes: “We’ve got to learn to take more time with our shots,” noted Sovia.
Despite the depressing offensive statistics, Sovia and Kachmar pointed to the defensive side of the team’s effort against Perk Valley as a reason for optimism about the final ten games of the season.
Sovia said, “I thought it might have been our best defensive game of the year. [We] really did a nice job holding down a bigger school like Perk Valley. The kids really played hard.”
“It is frustrating,” Kachmar admitted, “but I feel like our defense is so great that once we get our scoring back, we will be beating teams.”
For solace, the Tribe needs only to look at Perk Valley’s rebound from a 2-9 start.
“Honestly, if we get our offense together, I believe we have six or seven wins coming down the stretch. The difficult part of our schedule is a little behind us, although everybody is formidable in the PAC-10, but the big schools are especially a challenge.”