Pennsbury senior Mark Flagg, center, is guarded by Bensalem defenders Taco Douglas (1), left and Josh Hill (23) in Suburban One National League boys basketball action Feb. 7 at the Falcons’ Nest. (Steve Sherman – 21st-Century Media)
FALLS TOWNSHIP – Trailing visiting Bensalem 30-19 at the half in the last regular season game for both teams, Pennsbury turned up the defensive pressure and cut its deficit to two points heading into the fourth quarter.
The Falcons finally took the lead, hitting back to back 3-pointers by seniors Mark Flagg and Tyler Sessa Reeves that put the home team on top 43-41 with 2:16 to go in regulation. Pennsbury went up 45-41 with 30 seconds to go after the Owls missed a wide open layup.
Bensalem senior Richard Dean Jr., who led the visitors with 26 points including 12 in the second quarter, hit a 3-pointer off an inbounds pass with 2.7 seconds left in the final frame to send the battle to overtime.
In the extra session, Falcons reserve guard Raylil Winton Law opened the scoring with his only bucket of the battle, though it was a big one, from behind the 3-point line.
Flagg – who led Pennsbury with 34 points – added a jumper and the Falcons, playing their second straight game without point guard Addison Howard, were on their way to their 15th win of the season and their second this year over the Owls.
In a game Pennsbury had to have to get into this weekend’s Suburban One League (SOL) Tournament, the Falcons came out on top, 59-53. Flagg sealed the win, hitting 7-of-8 from the foul line in overtime.
For the game, the big 6-8 forward headed to Saint Francis canned 19-of-24 free throws. As a team, the Falcons made 25-of-37 shots from the stripe (67.6 percent).
Flagg’s 34-point performance follows a 29-point showing he registered Feb. 2 in a 62-49 Pennsbury triumph at Truman.
Bensalem, which started the game ranked 25th in the District 1 Class 6A rankings, fell to 9-13 with the loss. Only the top 24 teams make it into the D-1 Tournament, slated to begin Feb. 17, so the Owls are going to need some help if they are to reach the postseason.
Sixteenth-ranked Garnet Valley nipped No. 24 Ridley 61-60 Tuesday night on the Jaguars’ home court. Sitting in the 23rd spot is CB South and the Titans lost 54-47 to 29th-ranked Souderton.
Next, the Falcons face defending District 1 champion Plymouth-Whitemarsh Saturday at Bensalem in the first round of the SOL boys basketball tournament. Tipoff is tentatively scheduled for 3:45 p.m. though check individual team websites for confirmation.
The SOL Championships are slated for Monday, Feb. 13 at Souderton with the girls tipping off at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:30.
Pennsbury 59, Bensalem 53
(Feb. 7 at Pennsbury)
Bensalem 13 17 4 12 7 – 53
Pennsbury 12 7 13 14 13 – 59
BENSALEM (9-13) — Chris Shields 6, Ward Roberts 15, Rich Dean Jr. 26, Josh Hill 2, Taco Douglas 4; TOTALS — 19 10-15 53.
PENNSBURY (15-7) — Nick Caywood 2, Cory Dea 1, Raylil Winton Law 3, Billy Warren 4, Vaughn Ward 4, Tyler Sessa-Reeves 9, Joey Monaghan 2, Mark Flagg 34; TOTALS — 15 25-37 59.
3-POINT GOALS: B — Roberts 2, Dean 2, Shields; P — Winton Law, Ward, Sessa-Reeves, Flagg.