Perkiomen boys win TCL championship
Perkiomen School's basketball team displays the plaques for winning the Tri-County League Championship by beating Delaware Valley Friends School in the championship game last Thursday.
For three straight years the Perkiomen boys basketball team had earned a trip to the league championship game. Three straight times they came up short in their quest for a title. They vowed that this year would be different. There would be no more runner-up awards. No more comforting words of 'better luck next year.' No more excuses.
When they took the court last Wednesday against Delaware Valley Friends, it was now or never for a senior class that had spent their days being second best.
Perkiomen started slow and, for a brief moment, one couldn’t help but wonder if the ghosts of championship games past would once again make life miserable for the Panthers.
Thanks to Nizar Kapic that moment of doubt was very brief as the senior drained a three-pointer to start the Perkiomen scoring. Tyler Kohl followed with a layup. A few possessions later, Kapic connected again. Eric Fanning dunked and, when Bruce Brittingham buried a three, the rout was on as the Panthers lead 17-6.
Perkiomen would put together an offensive explosion in the second quarter that produced 30 points. Kapic was red hot, connecting on 6-9 from the field including three from beyond the arc. He scored 13 of the first 22 Panther points on his way to a game-high 18.
Fanning was 4-4 on field goal attempts in the first half; three of those via the dunk. He would jam it home two more times in the second half on alley-oops from fellow 1,000-point scorer Brittingham. Fanning finished with 15 points.
Kohl, in his first championship game, went 6-9 in the first half earning all his points from the paint. The Perkiomen freshman powered his way to 14 points.
Brittingham did his part connecting on three long-range baskets that produced 9 first-half points. He would end his evening with an even dozen all from three point range.
The Panthers closed out the second quarter with a 17 point run that resulted in a 47- 12 half time lead. When the game ended Perkiomen had claimed their first ever Tri-County League title by a final score of 69-32.
After the game head coach Mark Longstreth thought his squad started flat due to the tough loss the day before in the Independent Schools Tournament. “The guys took the loss yesterday to Malvern Prep pretty hard. It took us a couple trips down the court to get focused and get our rhythm. Once the pace picked up it seemed to go better.”
Brittingham agreed with his coach “Yesterday was a tough loss it carried over. We wanted to win it all. I’m glad we won tonight. It’s great to finally win it. I will remember this for a long time.”
The Panthers finish with a record of 26-3 and will graduate most of their championship squad. Brittingham and Fanning will take their talents to Wagner College in New York City: Brittingham for football, Fanning for basketball. Kapic will continue to entertain visitors from Division One schools like Rice, Boston College, Colgate and Washington St. The Panthers will also say goodbye to Josh Kingsley and Charles Lin.