Heartbreaking loss sends boys to consolation game
Chandler Junk takes to the air for a shot during play in the first game of the Christopher Dock tournament Thursday night.
After what Indians' head coach Bruce Schmidt called “a heartbreaking loss” in the opening round of the Dock holiday tournament, the Tribe regrouped and battled their way to a 38-36 win over Plumstead Christian in the consolation game last Friday night at Christopher Dock High School.
The Indians started on a positive note when sophomore Nate Weinstein scored a field goal on the team’s first possession. Though the teams would trade baskets for most of the first quarter, it was the Panthers who controlled the pace of the game.
Upper Perkiomen struggled to find an answer to the four corners-style offense being run by Plumstead. The Panthers spent the first half driving the lane and passing to the open shooter. Fortunately for the Tribe, the Panthers never caught fire and the Indians dominance on the boards made second shot opportunities nonexistent for the Panthers.
Down 20-17 at the intermission, Upper Perk tied the game at 20 apiece when Chandler Junk drained a three-pointer to open the third quarter. Plumstead, though, continued to control the game, and built a seven-point lead midway through the third quarter. The Tribe cut the lead to four at 31-27 by the end of the third quarter.
Things would finally click for the Indians in the fourth as they put together a 9-point run that started with Junk scoring the first four points of the quarter.
When sophomore Matt Ruskey hit a short jumper at the four minute mark, the Tribe had their first lead of the second half at 33-31. Robbie Hinson followed with a field goal and Junk added another free throw to complete the Upper Perkiomen run, making the score 36-31.
The slow-paced Panther offense, which had given the Indians fits for the first three quarters, had now become the Panthers biggest obstacle. Plumstead went almost the entire fourth quarter without a basket until Joey Kallatch scored in the closing seconds.
Chandler Junk led the Indians with a game-high 16 points, 10 of which came in the second half. Joey Marinelli netted nine points while Hinson and Ruskey each finished with four. Ben Hostaglis led the Panthers with 13 points, while Alex Geistdorfer had 10.
In the opening game of the tournament, Upper Perk saw Christopher Dock rally from a 15-point deficit to claim a 44-43 win. Junk led the Indians offense with a gam- high 17 points.
“I think last night’s loss carried over a little bit into tonight game," said Schmidt after the game. "It was a heartbreaker, but I give the boys a lot of credit. They never quit tonight even when they (Plumstead) started to pull away a little in that third quarter. Last night’s loss was a learning experience as was tonight’s comeback. The boys work hard every time they take the floor practice or game. Our goal is to be better each time we take the floor and so far I think we are accomplishing that.”
The Tribe will travel to Quakertown this Saturday to take on the Panthers at 7 p.m.