Special to The Mercury
POTTSTOWN — Shooting 3-for-8 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter is not the way to win a basketball game. But the Pottstown boys turned their misses from the stripe into an advantage as they wound up with the rebound almost every time and hung on for a 43-39 win over Upper Perkiomen in the Pioneer Athletic Conference opener for both teams Tuesday night at Strom Gymnasium.
Miles Elliott scored 19 and Bryant Quill 14 for the Trojans (2-1 overall). Chandler Junk knocked down 20 points and Robert Hinson 10 for the Indians (1-2), who were thwarted in their determined effort to win their first league game since January, 2011.
“The kids are taught that,” Trojan coach Cal Benfield said concerning the importance of foul shots. “We will win and lose games at the foul line. We’ve got to get better at that.”
But the Trojans made up for the misses with their hard crashing of the boards and tough defense that held the Indians to just two points in the final quarter. Junk opened the fourth-quarter scoring with two free throws to give Upper Perk — which held as much as a seven-point lead early in the third quarter — a 39-36 advantage. But that would be it for the night for the visitors and Pottstown closed the gap on a baseline drive by Steve Steinmetz and then took a 40-39 edge when Tyler Hunsberger passed to Quill for a layup with 3:41 to go.