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Weldon helps Pennsbury boys basketball power past Truman

Pennsbury sophomore Cooper Arnold, right, guards Truman senior Cam Culver (15) in Falcons' win over the Tigers Tuesday, Jan. 16 at PHS East gymnasium. (Steve Sherman – 21st-Century Media)

FALLS TWP. – Pennsbury 6-8 senior Chad Weldon put up a wall on defense and classmate Raylil Winton exploded for 21 points on offense as the Falcons easily powered past the visiting Truman Tigers Tuesday night, Jan. 16 at the PHS East gymnasium.

Weldon had himself a career night with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks, helping the Falcons to a 69-46 win over Truman.

“Chad’s a big player for us every night,” stated Pennsbury senior Josh Arruda. “He steps in and does the job, defensively first; his offensive points will come.”

“Tonight, he had a better game, offensively, but every day, we know if he works inside and finishes strong on defense, keeps his hands up and stay out of foul trouble, we know he will dominate.”

“He gets 12 rebounds every night for us so his presence in the paint is the key to our defense.”

Offensively, the Falcons had themselves a balanced night with four players reaching double digits including Weldon, Winton, Arruda (12 pts.) and junior Gary Francis, who hit for 13 including Pennsbury’s first five points in the game and three field goals in the fourth quarter.

“When we focus up on defense, offense comes easy,” added Arruda. “We start sharing the ball and we feed off that energy.

“That’s how we play and that’s how we get all those baskets.”

The high scorer in the game, Winton canned a pair of field goals in the first quarter, two threes in the second period, a third trey in the final frame while pouring 8-of-11 foul shots into the basket.

“He brings it every night,” said Arruda. “Every night, he’s there defensively first and when the shots start falling, it’s game over, for him.”

For his part, Arruda canned five field goals in the contest including three in the second period when he sandwiched a pair of layups around a 3-pointer.

Truman senior point guard Jeff Nixon led the Tigers with 14 points and he had help from junior Javeer Peterson, who scored 10. T.J. Rogers added six more for Truman and juniors Carter Kelley and Gabe Gipli tallied five points, each.

Pennsbury went up 20-8 after just one quarter on the strength on nine field goals, including three by Weldon and two by Winton.

Ray exploded for seven points in the second period, his second 3-pointer in the quarter putting the Falcons on top, 34-15.

Winton came into the game motivated – his best friend is Nixon and Peterson is his cousin.

“Ray was focused in tonight,” said Pennsbury head coach Bill Coleman. “He knows a lot of guys over there so he took this game personally.”

The coach is hoping Winton brings that kind of energy to every game.

“When Ray gets going, it makes us more of a dynamic team and it helps everyone else out,” the coach added.

The Tigers mounted a 6-0 run at the end of the second period, thanks to field goals by Truman juniors Gabe Gipli and T.J. Rogers and a pair of free throws by senior Cam Culver. But all that did was cut their halftime deficit to 15 points going into the intermission.

The Falcons started the second half with a pair of baskets by Francis, then Winton drew a foul on Nixon, shooting from behind the 3-point line and made all three foul shots to expand Pennsbury’s lead to 22 points with five minutes still to play in the third period.

A moment later, Weldon came up with yet another block and Arruda converted on the other end of the court for a 50-24 Falcon lead.

With two minutes left in the third quarter, the game was all but over.

It started with Weldon on the back line, says Coleman.

“We’ve had a lot of guys play the back line for us and Chad is the best back line guy we’ve ever had,” the coach said.

“He’s active mentally and he sees plays develop and he’s athletic enough to close ground on people attacking the basket.

“When you have a guy like Chad on the back line, it cleans up some of the mess of people up front.”

Nixon finished with three field goals including a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter and Peterson also canned a trey in the final frame but in the end, the night belonged to Weldon.

Pennsbury 69, Harry S Truman 46

(Jan. 16 at Pennsbury)

Pennsbury  20  19  13  17 – 69

Truman  8  16  5  17 – 46

PENNSBURY (7-6, 3-2: SOL) — Gary Francis 13, Josh Arruda 12, Chad Weldon 15, Jake Martell 6, Raylil Winton 21, Sam Ruta 2; TOTALS — 24 16-22–69.

TRUMAN (5-7, 1-3: SOL) — Javeer Peterson 10, Zierr Reid 2, Jeff Nixon 14, Carter Kelley 5, Gabe Gipli 5 Cam Culver 2, T.J. Rogers 6, Treszon Chapman 2; TOTALS — 17 9-14–46.

3-POINT GOALS: P — Francis, Arruda, Winton 3; T — Peterson 2, Nixon.

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