LOWER POTTSGROVE >> In the waning moments of the fourth quarter Friday night, Boyertown’s Jerry Kapp chased down and secured a loose ball by the baseline, tapped two feet down inbounds, then sent the ball upcourt while he was falling out of bounds.
His football season footwork may still be intact, but the Bears senior showed he’s ready for success in basketball, too.
The senior guard Kapp scored a game-high 15 points — nine during the first quarter — to lead the Bears to a season-opening 41-30 win over West Chester Henderson during the Pottsgrove Tip-Off Tournament.
“I woke up this morning and realized this is my last first game of basketball … of any high school sport really,” said Kapp, whose been a standout pass-catcher for the Boyertown football program the past few years. “It’s pretty surreal — all of us seniors have been here together. Now we’re trying to go out with a bang.”
They got off on the right foot Friday night.
Boyertown (1-0 overall) secured a 12-11 lead midway through the opening quarter on a 3-pointer from Kapp then never trailed the rest of the night. Junior forward Hunter Borgmann battled down low where he finished with nine points to go along with a thunderous blocked shot into the Boyertown student section during the second quarter. Noah Kurtz added eight points with a pair of 3-pointers on the night.
Freshman guard Aarick Salata looked plenty confident handling the point in his first varsity showing while classmate Chris Kiefer was a presence in the paint. With an experienced core on the floor, that transition becomes that much easier.
“All the young guys coming up, I’m always in their ear saying, ‘Don’t play like you’re a freshman. Play like you’re a senior,’” said Kapp. “It’s all about confidence. I know all the guys on my team have confidence in me and I have all the confidence in the world in them.”
The win was “a long time coming” for Boyertown head coach Mike Ludwig, that after the Bears ended last season on a seven-game losing skid.
“It’s nice to get that win and build some momentum moving forward,” he added. “Any time you have that taste in your mouth (from last season), you want to come out and win games early on. As a team, it had been a long time since we’d won a basketball game. These guys knew that.”
This early in the season is all about gelling and bonding, especially with a young team building up its foundation. That’s the case with West Chester Henderson. The Warriors are undoubtably in search of a key playmaker on offense, one head coach Chris Bruno hopes will emerge in the coming weeks.
“We’ve got a couple guys playing hurt, a couple guys that aren’t playing right now,” he said. “A freshman and a sophomore both got time for us tonight. So what’s gonna happen is we’re only gonna get better as the season goes.”
Senior guard Archer Rymiszewski and wing Joe Saulino finished with six points apiece as Henderson collectively shot 6-for-9 from the free-throw line.
“It’s not like we’re starting with all of our horses right now,” Bruno added. “As the season goes on, guys that get healthy will be able to help us out a lot.”
Snow Can Do
With the forecast calling for snow late Friday night and into Saturday, West Chester Henderson preemptively decided to cancel its game with Pottsgrove slated for 7 p.m. Saturday.
“I wish we could get this next game in, get a little more live game action,” said Bruno, “but that’s not gonna happen with the snow. We’ll have to take away what we an from this game.”
Boyertown is slotted to face Central Bucks East at 2:30 p.m.
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