Mercury-area season in review from A to Z

Methacton and Pope John Paul II made history.

The Boyertown program was restored.

And the Perkiomen School girls kept winning.

All-in-all, the 2014-2015 season shaped up to be a memorable one.

Whether it stems from the Boyertown girls first PAC-10 championship since 2011, Perkiomen Valley’s dramatic success in John Strawoet’s first season at the helm or the Phoenixville boys’ rise to prominence, each moment defined a hectic season that few could have predicted.

Here is an A-to-Z look back on the 2014-2015 season.

A is for Abby — Boyertown’s Abby Kapp was nothing short of spectacular during her sophomore season. The 6-0 forward/guard was second in the PAC-10 in scoring, averaging 15.4 points per game and was a key component to the Bears’ first PAC-10 title since the 2011 season. Kapp finished with five games where she scored 20-plus points, and was critical in her team’s entry into the PIAA-AAAA tournament, scoring 18 points in a 51-44 victory in a do-or-die clash against Central Bucks South in the District 1-AAAA 9/10 playback game.

B is for Bossler — Susan Bossler reached 1,000 points in her career split between Berks Catholic and Pope John Paul II. The senior finished with 45 3-pointers, second best in the Mercury area.

C is for Christian Kelly — Phoenixville junior Christian Kelly had a career year, scoring 570 points (21.9 ppg, third in the Mercury area) all while registering 18 games of 20 points or more.

D is for Duvivier — Pottstown senior Rich Duvivier led the Mercury area in 3-pointers with 62 and was first in the PAC-10 in scoring, averaging 22.8 points per game.

E is for Eric Burnett — The first-year head coach guided Phoenixville to its best finish in six years, finishing the season with a 18-8 overall mark (10-3 PAC-10). Under Burnett, the Phantoms reached the PAC-10 semifinals and also made an appearance in the District 1-AAAA tournament in its first year at the Class AAAA level.

F is for Fives — Hill School’s James Fives led the team with 14.7 ppg and had six games of 20 or more points, including a 23-point effort in the team’s opening round loss to Haverford in the PAISAA playoffs.

G is for Graber — Upper Perkiomen’s Holly Graber led the area in 3-pointers, finishing the year with 50 3-pointers in 22 games.

H is for History — The 2014-2015 season was one for the history books, especially for Methacton and Pope John Paul II. The Methacton boys claimed their second-ever PIAA berth, and after defeating District 11’s Whitehall in the first round of the PIAA-AAAA playoffs, the Warriors earned their first appearance in the PIAA second round. Unfortunately for the Warriors, their run ended with a loss to J.P. McCaskey, a team that recently knocked off La Salle in the quarterfinals. The Pope John Paul II girls team, meanwhile, earned its first trip to the District 1-AAA tournament after picking up victories over Springfield-Montco and Merion Mercy in the first two rounds. The Golden Panthers fell to Gwynedd Mercy in the district title game.

I is for Improvement — The Pottstown girls team saw its 25-game PAC-10 losing streak come to an end with a victory over Upper Perkiomen. The Trojans finished with two wins in the PAC-10 and were 5-14 overall. Shekema Gentles played a big part in the Trojans’ improvement as the senior transfer from Upper Merion averaged 14.3 ppg and recorded a season-high 29 rebounds in the team’s victory over the Tribe. Daniel Boone also continued its upward trend, advancing to the District 3-AAAA playoffs and finished with a 14-9 overall record. The Blazers finished 5-17 in 2013-2014 after finishing 6-17 in 2012-2013.

J is for John — Perkiomen Valley first-year head coach John Strawoet guided the Vikings to a 21-7 record, a PAC-10 playoff and a District 1-AAAA appearance in his first season at the helm. Putting that in perspective, the Vikings had 19 wins combined in the past two seasons and were coming off a 6-16 record the season prior.

K is for KT — KT Armstrong was once again stellar in her junior season, eclipsing the 1,000 point mark in a 32-29 victory over Council Rock North in the District 1-AAAA playback round while also finishing with a Mercury area-best 17.8 ppg. The forward scored 20-plus points nine times this season, highlighted by a 32-point performance in the team’s opening win against Pennsbury.

L is for Locke — Spring-Ford’s Maggie Locke capped off her senior season by averaging 11 points per game and scored a team-high 11 points in the Rams victory over then-undefeated Boyertown in the second round of the District 1-AAAA playoffs.

M is for MAPL — The Hill School boys once again made it to the MAPL final, eventually falling to Blair in the title game. Seth Stankiewicz (10.4 ppg) and the aforementioned Fives were critical pieces for the Blues, along with Bryce Allen (9.3 ppg). The girls didn’t fare as well but did benefit from the scoring performances of Jackie Anywanu and Jonica Brown, who both finished the year averaging more than 10 points per game.

N is for Nomi — Phoenixville’s Nomi Washington helped lead the Phantoms to the PAC-10 playoffs, securing the Frontier No. 2 seed in the second year of head coach Kevin Bornstad’s tenure. Washington finished fourth in the Mercury area averaging 12.6 points per game.

O is for Okuniewski — There weren’t too many bright spots for the Daniel Boone boys this season, however, the play of Ryan Okuniewski was surely one of them. Okuniewski was one of the leaders in 3-pointers, finishing the season with 37 and was tops on the team in scoring, averaging 10.7 ppg.

P is for Phoenixville — The Phoenixville boys and girls both made the PAC-10 playoffs. The boys hadn’t made the playoffs in six years, the girls last made the playoffs in the 2011-2012 season.

Q is for Quill — Pottstown’s Bryant Quill hit the 1,000 point mark in the Trojans’ final game of the season, an 82-78 victory over Bethlehem Catholic. The senior finished with 467 points and 26 3-pointers and averaged 21.2 ppg for Pottstown (5-8, 8-14).

R is for Resurgence — Boyertown’s resurgence into the upper-echelon of the PAC-10 occurred on both the boys and the girls side. The Boyertown boys, led by Kyle Dennin, Rob Merwarth, Christian Smith and freshman Jerry Kapp, made the PAC-10 playoffs in dramatic fashion, topping Spring-Ford to leapfrog them in the standings and claim their first PAC-10 playoff berth since the 2009-2010 season. The Boyertown girls meanwhile looked much like the head coach Jason Bieber’s teams in 2010 and 2011, rolling to an undefeated PAC-10 record before dispatching Perkiomen Valley in the PAC-10 final.

S is for Spring-Ford — The Spring-Ford girls, after not making the PAC-10 playoffs following a run of three straight league titles, knocked off Boyertown in the second round of the District 1-AAAA playoffs and made states for the fourth straight year.

T is for TCL — The season belonged to the Perkiomen School girls as the Panthers clinched their third straight Tri-County League championship with a convincing 52-25 victory over J.M. Barrack Hebrew in the title game. Stephanie Falcone and Kristen Burdo were once again critical pieces to the championship puzzle along with Jordan Barth, Laura Vetter and Destinee Astheimer. The Perk School boys were also successful in TCL play, reaching the TCL semifinals without leading scorer Paulius Zalys. Martynas Simanavicius finished the year averaging 13.4 ppg and scored in double figures in five out of the last six games.

U is for Undefeated — The Boyertown girls completed its undefeated PAC-10 run with their first title since 2011.

V is for Victories — Boyertown’s Jason Bieber and Methacton’s Craig Kaminski reached milestone markers this year with Bieber earning his 100th victory at the helm of Boyertown in December while Kaminski earned his 200th career win nearly a month later.

W is for West-Mont — Sophomores Devon Jackson and Kyle Stroble were successful for the Wings. Jackson led the area, averaging 26.3 ppg, while Stroble finished with a team-high 39 3-pointers.

X is for X-Factor — Pope John Paul II’s Gabby Troisi played lights out in the District 1-AAA playoffs, helping to lead her team to the program’s first District 1-AAA title game. Troisi averaged 13 ppg and dished out 19 assists in two games against Springfield-Montco and Merion Mercy.

Y is for Youth Movement — A few players that shined this year that were sophomores or freshman: Pottstown’s Ebony Reddick, Boyertown’s Kapp, Perkiomen Valley’s Megan Jonassen, Pope John Paul II’s Allison Thomas, Pottsgrove’s Diana Randleman. On the boys side: Boyertown’s Jerry Kapp, Owen J. Roberts’ Bobby Walker, Perkiomen Valley’s Justin Jaworski, Upper Perkiomen’s Ryan Kendra and West-Mont’s Jackson and Stroble.

Z is for Zero — The Pottsgrove girls team finished the season with zero 3-pointers.

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