BOYERTOWN >> It had been four years since the Boyertown girls basketball team earned a berth into the quarterfinal round of the District 1 playoffs.
Four long years thanks to a blend of heartbreak, bad luck and a few unfavorable matchups.
That changed Wednesday night as the Bears earned their place to the district quarterfinals and earned a spot in the PIAA Class 6A playoffs with a 46-30 win over Central Bucks East at Boyertown High School.
“This will be the first time this group of girls gets to play in the district quarterfinal game,” said Boyertown head coach Jason Bieber. “They earned it. They’ve earned every opportunity.”
It wasn’t the Bears’ cleanest effort Wednesday night — Boyertown shot 11-for-24 from the foul line and 1-for-9 from 3-point land — but it didn’t need to be. The Bears forced Central Bucks East into 18 turnovers and controlled the offensive tempo through most of the night.
The result sends No. 2 seed Boyertown into a quarterfinal matchup with No. 7 Central Bucks South — a 45-37 winner over Neshaminy — on Saturday night at 7 p.m. East, the No. 15 seed, drops into next Wednesday’s playback round.
Senior forward Abby Kapp led the way with a game-high 19 points and 13 rebounds — including the 1,000th board of her career late in the first quarter.
Kapp, who became the program’s all-time leader in scoring earlier this season, described it as just another dream come true.
“It’s something I’ve personally dreamed of accomplishing,” she said afterward. “It’s such a great feeling to have my family and my teammates here with me every step of the way.”
With the clock winding down on the first quarter, the Bucknell commit garnered the trademark rebound on the defensive end, passed it off to a guard, then charged her way up the offensive end. Seconds later, Kapp banked one off the glass off a feed from Katie Armstrong to give the Bears a 10-2 lead as the buzzer sounded.
Alongside Kapp, junior guard Victoria Boalton notched 11 points while senior Alli Marcus finished with nine against CB East’s trap defense. The Bears seamlessly picked apart the Patriots’ full-court press defense early before slowing it down on the defensive end.
Boyertown jumped out to an 8-0 run at the start and never trailed. The closest East got was once senior Bridget Birkhead got on a roll, scoring seven of her team-high 15 points during the second quarter to bring it to 15-9 at the half. Sophia Mancuso came off the bench for seven points including a late 3-pointer.
East’s offense was predicated off the pick-and-roll with shooters flashing open all over the court.
“We worked on that the past three days,” Bieber said of defending East’s pick-and-roll offense. “We wanted to make sure we were ready to cover it and we knew who needed to be where. Our girls did a nice job with that.”
Moments after the loss, CB East head coach Liz Potash was taken back a couple of years.
“We played here two years ago, when our seven seniors were all sophomores and Boyertown was a No. 1 seed,” she said. “We’ve grown a lot and come a long way as a team since then.
“We started out the season 1-4, so to get all the way here … it says a lot about our seniors. They’ll be ready to bounce back next week.”
Not quick to forget her team’s effort both from the foul line and the field, Kapp admits there is plenty of work to go before Saturday night.
“We’ve got to come in and have a good, solid practice,” she said. “None of these games will be easy. So we’ve got to be able to make the easy shots when we’ve got them.”