Friarside Chats V-A
Basketball 2011-12

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  FriarSide Chats V-A are written by Marty Farrell (left), a junior and 6th grade Malvern basketball coach; Jake Stokes (center), a Cameron Crazie bound senior; and Matt Greskoff (right), an undecided senior good goalie.
The cutouts are, L to R , Tom Pitt, Brendan Kilpatrick and Steve Perpiglia.

  After a two year hiatus Friarside Chats are back. Last year Malvern BBall had an outstanding season highlighted by a whirlwind of transfers out, an outright Inter-Ac Championship (first since 1981), the ANC game, enough said (click here), and a second place finish in the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Tournament. Led by seniors Kevin Rafferty (Tufts) and Sean Gordon (Gettysburg) and junior wing guard Brendan Kilpatrick, the Friars finished with a 24-7 overall record and 8-2 mark in Inter-Ac play. Emerging stars Tom Pitt and Steve Perpiglia contributed on both ends of the court to Malvern’s success. With Kilpatrick (who committed to Vermont in September), Pitt, and Perpiglia returning to the starting lineup, the Friars are poised to make another run at the Inter-Ac title. That quest to repeat started on January 6 at Cabrini College.
  Welcome to Friarside Chats V-A, which is being orchestrated by Jakes Stokes. Others are expected to join in . . .

FEB. 11
Malvern 55 Germantown Academy 52
By Jake Stokes and Matt Greskoff
  Where do I begin, my ears are still ringing and I have yet to fully regain my voice. FriarNation was out in full force having the stands filled in the fourth quarter of the JV game. After the rally towels were handed out, and the water-resistant paint was put on, senior good goalie Matt Greskoff, who looked like he was dressed for a tennis match for the white out, got the Nation pumped for the game with an “I Believe” chant. As if the students weren’t pumped up enough for the game senior co-captain Brendan Kilpatrick, who was honored for scoring 1,000 points before the game, came up with a thunderous put back dunk to have the student section erupt. Then using both the metal and the glass of the backboard fellow senior co-captain Steve Perpiglia got a bucket to drop. After a hard fought first quarter the Friars found themselves ahead 16-7.
  Now while GA’s students (got to give them props for getting that many students to an away game) tried to start some chants in the first quarter I think they started to realize that they were getting drowned out by the largest FriarNation of the season. So the “we can’t hear you” chants eventually ensued… The best back-and-forth of chants had little to do with the game itself. GA began chanting “we have girls,” and some genius underclassman from the middle of the Nation began a “we have Jesus” chant, while the seniors were trying to think of an appropriate and non-controversial response.
  Now on the court we had another hard fought battle with GA knocking down most, if not all, of their free throws. The three also played a big role for GA, however the Friars capitalized on the 11 first half turnovers GA had. The Friars were looking for a deflection into the basket with 0.2 seconds left in the half. The situation was similar to the teams’ previous game where Tom Pitt made a half-court shot that was disallowed. This time, however, Kilpatrick was fouled on the inbound and was sent to the line. This gave the Friars a 10 point lead at half with a score of 30-20.
  During the 2nd half, Malvern did not commit a turnover until midway through the 4th quarter and had some big rebounds. Tom Pitt had 6 reb, Dennis Gabert had 7, and Perpiglia added 8 more. In the third the game seemed to slow down a bit ending 41-30.
John Oakley took control of the audio system at the quarter break and put on a crowd favorite “Levels,” which got the crowd rejuvenated and pumped up for the final 8 minutes of the game that stood between Malvern and an Inter-Ac title. As the time ticked down in the fourth quarter FriarNation got louder and louder. Alumnus Brian Swanick ’11, a previous leader of the Nation, even came over to give another inspiring speech to the students. Now while GA might have been making a run at the end I don’t think a loss ever entered anyone’s mind. It felt like Malvern’s game all the way through. With under a minute left Jake Stokes started the “Winning team, Losing team” chant and then latter followed with the “If you're winning and you know it chant,” which the GA students took quite well. Then in the final 30 sec all the students joined in the signing of the alma mater. While FriarNation was told not to storm the court, there was no stopping hundreds of students ready to celebrate with their team after they won the 2nd of back-to-back championships. The massive pile-up in the center of the court was a result of hundreds of elated fans with absolutely no regard for the well-being of their bodies.
  The oncourt celebration then ensued as senior Gus Carlin (Note: the original GUS/IV sign was found and placed in the trophy case) cut down the first net. Then the celebration moved to the other side of the court as one by one each player cut a piece of the net. During this time “Levels” was played again and a concert like atmosphere was created for over a half hour. This is the first time Malvern has won back-to-back titles since Fran Dunphy was coach in 1976-77. The Friars hit the home court for the last time this season in the quarter finals of the PA independent schools tournament after getting a first round bye as the #1 seed they will face Perkiomen on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

FEB. 7
Malvern 52 Penn Charter 37

By Jake Stokes 
            Malvern came into this match up tied for first place with GA in the Inter-Ac.  Penn Charter was the only team left in the Inter-Ac that Malvern had yet to beat this season and the Friars were out for revenge as they'd snapped the Friars' undefeated season the first time they played.  The game started out slow as neither team was able to convert until two minutes in when senior wing guard Brendan Kilpatrick drove the lane to get the bucket and the foul. Then it took another two minutes to see the next score, this time by Steve Perpiglia.  However from here both teams kicked it into gear, Kilpatrick finished off the first quarter with 11 more points for a total of 14 including 3 treys taking the score at the end of the first to 17-7 Malvern.
            The second quarter saw Penn Charter inch there way back into the game with a three from Mike McGlinchey.  Penn Charter held the Friars to only seven points in the frame with two jumpers from Perpiglia and some foul shots.  This brought the Quakers to within 5 at the half down 24-19.
            The third quarter saw the Friars showing some great teamwork.  Midway through the frame Perpiglia made a great inbound pass to Dennis Gabert for the layup taking the score to 30-24. The next possession for the Friars saw Kilpatrick make a great pass through traffic to fellow senior Tom Pitt IV for the layup.  Despite Malvern getting into their groove PC hung with the Friars thought the third as the frame ended 37-31 Friars.
            Pitt got the scoring started in the fourth with a thunderous dunk.  Juniors Ryan Ammerman and Alex Dentinger added to the scoring in the fourth for the Friars.  The ending to this game was the oddest I have ever seen in all of the basketball games I have ever seen.  Normally it’s the team that has the lead at the end of the game that holds the ball, but for whatever reason PC’s coach instructed his players to hold the ball, which even his own players seemed to be confused about.  The game ended 52- 37 taking the Friars to 7-2 in the inter-ac and 22-2 overall.  Soon after the game it was learned that GA suffered a loss to SCH guaranteeing the Friars a share of the Inter-Ac title.  The Friars hit the hardwood Saturday at 7:30 vs. GA to go for the outright crown. 
  Now while the season isn’t over yet with our final Inter-Ac game and the Pa independent schools tournament still left, I want to take this time to thank a few people . . .
  Players & Coaches:
Thanks for providing some of the most thrilling wins I have ever seen (Had I not just watched Austin Rivers beat UNC I would say the best, but your win vs. LaSalle might rival this game).  You guys played your hearts out every game and it showed.  Go get that Championship.
  Those in the stands with me (you know who you are): Thanks for joining me in the stands.  Always remember that when they the other teams student section starts chants at you that you are making your presence felt.

JAN. 27
Haverford School 53, Malvern 50
By Matt Greskoff
            Because of the fierce rivalry between Malvern and the Haverford School, this game meant the world to both teams.  Disregard the Inter-Ac standings; disregard the previous game’s result.  This was Malvern versus Haverford.  While Haverford has 2 starters who are new to the school and the rivalry, the rest are used to it, as is the entire Malvern roster.  Haverford’s crowd was typical for a Friday night.  The Nation came out strong as well.  From before the game even started, it was evident this would be a battle on and off the court.

            The first quarter was full of missed shots and blocked shots by both sides.  Recognizing that Malvern was struggling early to get points, senior captain Steve Perpiglia took over and scored the first 2 buckets for the Friars.  He was playing with his usual fire and passion that has embodied Malvern basketball for the past two years.  With only a few seconds left in the first, Stevie made a deep three to put the Friars up at the buzzer.  This immediately energized the somewhat dull Nation up until that point. 
            The second quarter was more of the same type of play: scrappy, tough inside, and foul shots.  Seniors Tom Pitt and Dennis Gabert established themselves as offensive rebounding threats with put-backs and drives inside.  ‘Twas reminiscent of Dennis’ game-saving run of 6 straight points against Haverford in the 1st match-up this year.  The half ended Friars 19, Fords 18.
            The scoring really started to pick up in the 2nd half, as did the fans.  Reigning MVP Brendan Kilpatrick, after a tough start from the field, Greg Jennings’ed Malvern in the 3rd with a pair of 3’s and just overall outstanding play.  And every time he went toward the rim and was bumped and didn’t get a call, he went about his business in his usual calm and collected way.  Despite Brendan and the rest of the team’s efforts in that 3rd quarter, a barrage of 3’s from the Fords put them up 3 going into the 4th. 
            The final quarter was anything but boring.  Chants from both sections were constant.  Scoring was constant. Time-outs were constant. With Haverford up and 3 minutes or so remaining, Haverford seemed to be doing what they tried to do the previous game against Malvern: just hold it.  Malvern, because of this knowledge, ended up putting pressure on the ball and using a press to prevent the stall.  Malvern had been down all quarter when Stevie made an incredible lay-up and the foul to tie it.  Malvern immediately got a stop on the other end.  However, Haverford’s tremendous pressure knocked the ball loose and got a fast break lay-up as a result.  Haverford was up 2.  The Friars made one of 2 free throws on the other end to halve the lead, and it remained that way for a couple possessions.  However, Haverford got a fast break and an and-1 with 5 seconds left.  They had a chance to seal it with one foul shot.  The shot was missed, and Malvern immediately got the rebound and called time out.  With a couple seconds left Malvern got off a contested deep 3 that couldn’t find the bottom of the net. 
            Haverford won 53-50, and now there is a theoretical 3-way tie at the top of the Inter-Ac with these two and GA.  They are all even with 2 losses in league, but Haverford has 4 games to go, while GA and the Friars have 3. 
            Malvern ends the year with 3 home games and the Nation will be in full strength.


JAN. 22
Malvern 60, Conestoga 44
By Jake Stokes
  The Friars came into the Kobe Bryant Classic shaking off their first loss of the season.  This non-league matchup gave them a chance to get back into their rhythm before getting back to Inter-Ac play on Tuesday.  However Conestoga’s tenacious defense was not going to give away any free points.  This was a very fast paced game with both teams pushing the ball down the court every possession.  Jimmy Gordon got the scoring started for the Friars by draining a three only to have it matched by Conestoga on the other side of the court.  Now while Conestoga’s fierce defense was paying off as they led 13-11 at the end of the first quarter.  The other number to watch on the scoreboard was 5-1 in terms of fouls. Conestoga was then forced to take out some of their starters in foul trouble including their hot 3 point shooter Sam Bevan. On a side note I think Conestoga may have set some sort of record for 3s in a game.
  The second quarter saw Malvern start to match Conestoga in treys as both Brendan Kilpatrick and Gordon each hit one.  Then Ryan Ammerman took another big charge for the Friars (See FriarSide of GA game).  Brendan capped off the half by hitting a jumper from the foul line giving the Friars a 25-20 lead into the half.
  The third quarter seemed to get off to a slow start as both teams now had some key players in foul trouble.  Senior Co-Captain Steve Perpiglia got the excitement back draining a three from the corner.  Then on the ensuing Malvern possession, Gordon hit a deja vu trey.  Then Conestoga finished off the scoring in the 3rd with a rare outside 2 point shot to bring them within 7 as the Friars had the 38-31 lead.
  In the final quarter, Kilpatrick took control as midway through the period he drove to the hoop for a dunk.  Then after a Stoga trey (I’m telling you check the record for 3s in a game) Kilpatrick got another dunk.  Kilpatrick then got a steal and went down the court for a lay-up and 1 to take the Friars up 53-44. The Friars then managed to make their foul shots at the end to give them the 60-44 win.  However, the final score really does not reflect how far Conestoga fought back and forth with the Friars.
  Brandon Thompson was the MVP for Conestoga with 3 treys.  Kilpatrick took home the MVP honor for the Friars with 20 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals.  The 18-1 Friars hit the hardwood again on Tuesday @ EA at 5:15pm.

  *On more of a rant: NO high school game should cost $10 for a student to attend!!


JAN. 20
Penn Charter 56, Malvern 44

By: Matt Greskoff
  The highly ranked Malvern pulled into Penn Charter seeking not only a win, but to remain unbeaten in the Inter-Ac, overall, and to sweep all the first match-ups against their league opponents.  The small gym was packed with fans, including many having to stand because of lack of bleacher space.  PC had a nice student section going, which outmatched the group of 20 or so Friarnation’ers 4-1 at least. 

   It became obvious early that this was not going to be the Friars’ night when Penn Charter’s 6’ 9” 250lb sharpshooter made a three early on in the 1st. They lit it up from three all game long, and that one was a trendsetter.  If one of theirs had bounced out and one of ours had bounced in in that 1st quarter, confidence would’ve shifted and a whole new outcome could’ve occurred.  Also in that quarter, sloppy play in the paint by both sides and a lot of leniency by the refs for both teams set the stage for a tough time to get inside buckets throughout. Chater led 12-9 after 1.

   Despite the Charter’s sharpshooter being out of the whole quarter due to foul trouble, Malvern lost ground in the 2nd. It should be noted that throughout the 1st half, the Friars were making every free-throw they had, and Charter wasn’t.  So while this may have been a night the 3’s weren’t falling, our boys’ mental toughness kept us in the game.  At half the score was 24-20 Charter.

   The Nation was doing their best to keep up with Penn Charter’s student section, but because of its small size, it needed constant chants to have its presence felt.  In the second half the repetition of these chants became evident, and it seems as though everyone in the Nation needs some “old old wooden ship, used in the Civil War era” in their cheers.  Malvern did make a great push in the 3rd quarter, capped by a huge 3 made by Steve Perpiglia to tie the game at 35 going into the 4th.

   The final quarter, in summary, was a bunch of contested Malvern inside shots that didn’t fall and a bunch of deep three’s by PC that did.  Just wasn’t our night. Penn Charter’s section was “loud” throughout the game because of their sheer size, but their final chant of I Believe, which of course is a Malvern-owned chant, did get the gym pretty noisy.  The game ended PC 56, Malvern 44.  The students celebrated the win by storming the court. 

   Yeah, we’ll see you at home.

JAN. 13
Malvern 47 Germantown Academy 46
By Jake Stokes
Malvern headed to GA for a Friday night showdown to see who would be the only team left in the Inter-Ac with an untarnished record.  For whatever reason, they decided to play in the middle school gym, which is very small. I guess this is why GA’s student section felt like they belonged on the court with the players instead of in the nonexistent stands.  This also includes the cheer squad, which Joe “THWND” McLaughlin described best when he said, “I guess the chess club doubles as the cheer squad.”
  The game started off slow but with just two minutes left in the first quarter Steve “How official do you want me to be” Perpiglia hit back to back 3s.  Now I will give credit where credit is due, giving it to GA that they were quite loud throughout the game.  However they started the countdown for the end of the first quarter far too early causing their own player to heave the ball up from mid-court when he had 5 seconds left, Tom “I can make anything from a dunk to a full court shot” Pitt got the rebound and threw up a 3/4-court shot that went in before the buzzer went off yet the ref did not allow the shot to count.  Now I try to not be too biased but this ref crew (besides the one decent ref, the skinny balding one) might have made some of the worst calls I have ever seen in my life from a ref reversing his call three times about who the ball was out on to Julian “I had enough time to repaint the lane” Moore never getting called once for parking himself in the lane for every possession.  This led to the first quarter ending with Malvern leading 11-3.
  In the second quarter Brendan “None of your chants phase me” Kilpatrick took the game in to his own hands getting back to back dunks taking the score to 15-7.  Kilpatrick continued contributing to his 17-point game total when he drained a long range 2 followed by a block on the other side of the court.  Then Stevie P hit another 3 to take the Friars up 27-19 at half.
  The third quarter started of with GA coming out swinging taking the lead for the first time in the game but BK got a dunk and then a 3 to give the Friars the lead back at 38-36.  Then on a rare miss by Steve, Alex “I talk in the form of playing” Dentinger showed his power down low to get the rebound and the put back making him one of the four players who scored for Malvern in the game taking the score at the end of the 3rd quarter to 40-36.
  Everyone in the packed gym knew that they were in action packed 4th quarter.  Steve started off the scoring for the Friars with their 4th three of the game, adding to his 18-point game total.  Pitt returned to the game after getting in foul trouble early in the game and made his presence felt immediately, scoring on his first play to take the score to 45-41.  Then junior Ryan “I take the game winning charge” Ammerman came up with the ball in a scramble on the ground. However this used up the Friars' second-to-last timeout, leaving them with only one for the remaining 4:21. Yet, Jim “I keep my cool” Rullo managed with the one timeout.  The final 4 minutes of the game brought out a David and Goliath matchup with FriarNation 4 deep split between both sides of the court due to the size restrictions of the gym taking on GA’s 100+ student sections.  The score came to 47-46 Malvern as the Friars had the ball, then with 39 sec left in the game Brendan was tripped and lost the ball out of bounds and with no foul called GA had the ball.  The clock went down to 11.8 second left until GA called a timeout.  During this timeout the rivalry in the stands got a little tense as Matt “I wear tight pants” Greskoff and Jake “I am training myself for Duke” Stokes started a “Let’s Go Malvern" chant that could be heard thought the small gym.  However this led to a “we can’t hear you chant” due to our small size yet just as loud as GA’s students a “Scoreboard chant was started”.  Finally the real match got back under way and as everyone saw coming all the way from beyond the key Nick “I only got 7 points this game” Lindner drove straight for the hoop expecting to get fouled.  Unfortunately for Lindner Ammerman saw this drive the entire way and stood firm on his ground to draw the charge with 3.8 seconds left.  GA managed to tip the inbound pass and get the ball, but they could not manage to get enough control to get a shot off.  While the game on the court may have ended here the GA student section felt the need to respond to a “we can’t hear you chant, with a “sit down Rugby” chant.  How GA managed to find out that I play Rugby I don’t know, seeing as they do not have a rugby team of their own, nor was I wearing any rugby clothing.  With this win the Friars move to 16-0 and 3-0 in Inter-Ac play.

DEC. 31
Malvern 56, LaSalle 55
By Jake Stokes
The Friars went into their matchup with the Explorers 11-0 including wins against Bonner (the last time the Friar Friar matchup happened) and an overtime win against St. Joe's Prep.  The game started off with Brendan "I have a thousand points" Kilpatrick quickly quieting the maple syrup chants after two quick NBA range 3s and to cap off the first quarter a BK special Dunk.  At the end of the 1st quarter the Friars found themselves down 14-13 in a close battle.
  However in the second quarter the refs seemed as though the failed to realize that it was a men's game not a women's game calling any physical contact a foul and the Friars could not capitalize on any free throws holding the team to just 5 points in the second quarter as LaSalle extended there lead to 27-18.
  Steve "I am the young Kobe" Perpiglia and Tom "Don't confuse me with the others, I am the IV" Pitt powered the Friars to within 7 as the third quarter ended 38-31.
  The margin remained the same with a minute left in the game when the ref farthest from the ball apparently calls the fouls now not the closest as Kilpatrick fouled out of the game while Jim "I almost got T'd up" Rullo argued with the ref. At the same time 2 LaSalle players had also fouled out and another had 4 fouls.  Pitt took the game into his hands at this time getting a spectacular dunk and then intercepting the inbound pass to get a second dunk as the Friars came back to within 3 points.  Then in a scramble for the ball coach Rullo managed to use his last time out to secure possession for the Friars.  Then with 20sec left Perpiglia was fouled and sent to the line to shoot a 1&1. He managed to make the first basket but missed the second and the ball was called out against Malvern. Pitt managed to intercept the ball and Jimmy "The Jett" Gordon went to put up the game leading three, however midway into the shot he passed it to Perpiglia who was screaming his head off for the ball who made the tre to take a 56-55 lead with three seconds remaining (mind you La Salle forced them to put time back on the clock). However even the extra time couldn't help the explorers as they missed the buzzer beat after the inbounder for LaSalle spent most of his time arguing with the ref and had to settle for a mediocre inbound pass.    Unfortunately the only two students to celebrate the victory were Jake "Future Cameron Crazie" Stokes and Matt "H2PH" Abbott.