|Perkiomen School's Nicole Pupilio dribbles into transition against Barrack Hebrew in the Tri-County League championship game Thursday night at The Hill School. (Kevin Hoffman, The Mercury)|
Special to The Mercury
POTTSTOWN — After rolling through the Tri-County League regular season undefeated and then winning a couple of playoff games with no problems, you might think that there would have been little reason for the Perkiomen School girls to be nervous on Thursday night.
But this was a championship game – the first-ever for this particular set of Panthers – being played before a large and noisy crowd at The Hill School’s Gillison Court, making for a definite playoff atmosphere. So the jitters were there for a while, and it showed, as Perk School struggled on offense and trailed by eight points three minutes into the second quarter.
But the Panthers rallied to take the lead by the end of the half and all of those butterflies in the stomach were long gone after a 27-point explosion in the third quarter on the way to a 64-36 win over Barrack Hebrew Academy, giving Perk School its first girls basketball title since 1984.
Nicole Pupillo scored 23 for the Panthers (19-5), including three baskets from beyond the three-point stripe in a span of just 63 seconds in the third quarter. Stephanie Falcone followed with 17 points for the winners, including a three-point blast in the final seconds of the first half that gave her team a 26-23 edge, and Kristen Burdo scored 11 and grabbed 12 rebounds. Sophia Schulson had 14 points and 16 rebounds for Barrack (15-5), which had lost to the Panthers by 21 and nine points during the regular season.