Upper Perk's Rachael Keeney attempts to get a shot off as she is pressured from both sides by Spring-Ford's defense in Tuesday night's home game.
Top ranked Spring-Ford hands Upper Perk girls basketball 73-34 loss
The Upper Perk girls basketball team got flattened by the whirlwind that is the Spring-Ford Rams, dropping a 73-34 decision at home on Tuesday night.
The visitors (9-2, 6-0) used relentless defensive pressure to force mistake after mistake and demonstrated why some polls have them ranked fourth in the state.
Maggie Locke (15) and Sammy Stipa (12) led the way for the Rams which saw 13 different players score points in the win.
The Rams pressed ferociously from the opening tip and ended up forcing 31 Upper Perk turnovers over the course of the contest.
Upper Perk coach Pete Sovia, who saw his team fall to 3-2 in the league (7-4 overall), could only tip his hat to the defending, and probably future, PAC-10 champs.
“That’s just a very, very talented team that’s well coached,” he said after the game.
Indeed, coach Jeff Rinehimer, in his 19th season, and his team have been pummeling opponent after opponent. The Rams won a pair of games in a prestigious Florida Christmas Tournament, scoring 81 points against one squad. The two losses came against national powers Academy Notre Dame De Namur and St. Anthony’s.
After UP’s Dani Moser hit two free throws to make the score 4-2 Spring-Ford early in the game, the visitors ran off 15 straight points to effectively put the game out of reach. The Tribe committed seven turnovers in the period and shot only one for seven as the Rams enjoyed a 21-6 advantage after the first quarter.
By halftime the score had ballooned to 37-14, and then Spring-Ford’s Shelby Mueller went on her own little mini-run. She hit for eight points in the first two and a half minutes of the third quarter to fuel the Ram’s 22-point period and a 40 point lead heading into the final stanza.
Despite the huge deficit, the Tribe battled all night long.
“I’m very proud, we competed very well with them,” Sovia said after the game. “We were on the same physical level; we were on the same hustle level, if not even more than Spring-Ford.”
The loss tightened up the Frontier Division. Pope John Paul is in the lead with a 4-1 record, followed by the Tribe and 2-3 Phoenixville.
The league is in that part of the schedule where the bigger teams are playing the smaller teams, and Sovia is focused on the bigger picture.
“We’re looking ahead. We’re looking to win one or two of these crossover games. We’re looking to take care of our business in the division, and we have our sights set on the playoffs for the first time in 18 seasons.”
The Tribe was coming off a 12-day layoff after its win over Palisades in the Quakertown Holiday Tournament, but Sovia saw that as a benefit.
"We had some kids with the flu bug, a couple of ankle problems, and Holly [Crossin] rested her hip a little bit.”
Crossin was able to get in some much-needed minutes against the Rams, and she responded by scoring seven of her nine points in the fourth quarter.
“We hope she builds on that,” Sovia said. "She did have a very nice fourth quarter. That’s what I was hoping would happen for her. A month and a half of inactivity is tough to come off of. She played very well and played very hard.”