Kapp Knocks Down Game-Winner, Boyertown Upsets Cardinal O’Hara
The game all tied up at 37. Twenty-six seconds remaining. A packed gym holding their breath for so long that it might cure global warming. Boyertown with the ball. They have the dream scenario, final possession in a back and forth game.
In this dream scenario, the play head coach Jason Bieber saw unfolding was a bit of a dream in itself. Abby Kapp got the ball in the backcourt and had the chance for an isolation with the game on the line. She had done it in the PAC Championship and in their previous game against Northampton, but did she have one more defining moment to give the Bears in her storybook senior season?
In her own words, “I saw them trying to take my driving lanes away and I had to shoot the ball. I just thought ‘I got it’ and it went in…After that,” she laughs, “it’s all really a blur to me.”
What she failed to mention is the three different defenders that tried to disrupt the shot, the stepback she managed to use to get space, and the magnitude of the situation. To her, it was just another shot. To everyone else it was the difference maker on the biggest of stages.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet and I don’t know if it ever will,” Kapp admitted after the game.
Even after knocking down the game-winner and getting a double-double in the biggest game of her life to this point, she showed tremendous humility in the post-game, continually thanking her teammates and coaches for their support this year and all throughout her career.
Those teammates played incredible defense and limited the usually lethal Cardinal O’Hara three-point shooting to 16% from beyond the arc. Katie Armstrong and Tori Boalton added 10 points and 8 points, respectively, for the Bears who shot 42% from the field, 56% from three, and 100% from the line in the victory.
They come up short of their ultimate goal of a state championship again this season following a loss in the title game last year, but this group of girls has certainly left their mark on the area. Three straight District 12 Championships, a Philadelphia Catholic League title, and nine state playoff victories in three years.
Senior Mary Sheehan starred in this game, leading the Lions with 15 in her final high school basketball game. She will be not too far down the road next season, as she will be playing for Saint Joseph’s University. Fellow teammate and senior point guard Hannah Nihill will bring her toughness and court vision to the Drexel Dragons next season. O’Hara will return three starters (Mackenzie Gardler, Maura Hendrixson, and Molly Paolino) next season as they will try to make another run at the state title.
The hard-fought game gives Boyertown the chance to be the 2nd PAC team in the last five years to win a state title. On Friday night, they will meet North Allegheny for the PIAA Class 6A State Championship. The District 7 champion beat Souderton 32-31 in what seems to have been another great finish.
The Bears will once again be the underdogs, but that hasn’t stopped them so far. They’ve beaten the odds and knocked off the defending state champ, state runner-ups, and pushed past two very challenging teams in Northampton and Garnet Valley. What’s one more upset anyway?
GIANT Center. Six o’clock. Friday night. The chance for the sweetest of upsets.
(Photo Credit: Jack Kapp)