Flagg, Daly, power Pennsbury past Souderton

FAIRLESS HILLS – Not too many high school basketball teams have a pair of 6-8 forwards in their lineup.

Pennsbury does!

While half of that tandem got into early foul trouble in last night’s battle against Suburban One League (SOL) Continental Conference rival Souderton, the other half is junior Mark Flagg.

The 11th-grader poured 16 points into the basket before the break including three straight field goals to start the second period. With the Falcons leading 18-14 at the end of the first quarter, Mark hit a pair of 3-pointers and a putback sandwiched around a jumper by Souderton senior Tracy Simsick.

The 8-2 run by Flagg put Pennsbury up by 10, igniting a 69-52 win over the Indians, the Falcons’ second non-league triumph of the season in as many games. Coming on the heels of Pennsbury’s season-opening win over St. Joseph’s Prep Dec. 5 at Widener University, this one came Dec. 8 at the Falcons Nest.

“I worked a lot on my post moves this summer, which really helped me out a lot today,” said Flagg, afterward.

While front-court mate Isaiah Carpenter had to sit through large portions of the game after getting into early foul trouble, Flagg says he and his 6-8 classmate Carpenter plan on playing down low quite frequently this season.

“This year, we’re going to be working a lot in the post and we’re going to have a big advantage with me and Isaiah (Carpenter) in the paint.

Defenses won’t know what to do, he says.

“If they try to go man on us, it’s going to hard to cover both me and Isaiah on the blocks.

“If they go zone, we’re stretching it out and hitting threes.

In a second period that saw Flagg score 12 of his team’s 19 points, Flagg hit a driving layup from the baseline and a turnaround layup from in front of the basket that put Pennsbury up 35-25. A pair of free throws by 5-10 junior Tyler Sessa-Reeves put the Falcons up 37-27 heading into the intermission.

Coming out of the locker room, the Falcons registered a 6-0 run on a putback by junior Addison Howard, another by Carpenter and a layup off a fast-break by Rob Daly.

A 5-11 senior and the only returning starter in a lineup that is without the three players that took Pennsbury to states the last two seasons, Daly was a key figure in this win.

Rob came through with 18 points in the game including eight points in both the first and third period. For the game, Daly cranked four 3-pointers through the rim.

“Rob’s coming off a very long football season and he’s had three, maybe four practices with us,” said Falcons head coach Bill Coleman. “For him to come in and do what he did today, I’m very proud of him.”

Daly’s efforts helped spread the Indian defense.

“That helps out a lot because of instead of doubling up in the paint, they have to watch out for Rob because he was stroking,” said Flagg.

“His stroke was beautiful tonight; he was hitting everything.”

One of those 3-pointers came on an off-balance toss in which the senior drew a foul in the last two minutes of the third period. After clanking off the rim, the shot went down a moment after the infraction was called on Souderton.

That’s when first-year Indians head coach Chuck Kornegay – a former 6-9 power forward for Villanova – objected vehemently. So much so he got himself tossed from the game by officials and a double-technical assessed against the visitors.

Howard was successful on three of four free throws, putting the Falcons up 54-35 with 1:30 remaining in the third period.

Around that time, the reserves for Pennsbury started to show; even quarterback Mike Alley got into the game. The senior made his minutes count, too, coming up with a steal and a block in the waning moments of the third quarter.

Leading 54-37 entering the final frame, all the Falcons had to do was make their free throws. Pennsbury drained 11-of-14 from the charity stripe in the last period, led by Sessa-Reeves who made 5-of-6 foul shots in the quarter and 7-of-8 for the game.

For his part, Howard made good on 5-of-6 free throws adding a driving layup in the second period and his own putback to start the third period for a total of nine points for the game.

“He’s working on his game a lot with us,” said Flagg, of Howard. “He stays an hour or two after every practice working on his game, trying to get better.”

While the faces that take the court for the Falcons spell out an entirely different lineup this season, especially among the starters, Flagg says this group has played travel ball together since fourth grade.

“A lot of us having been playing together for a while,” said Mark. “So we’re pretty good with (team chemistry) but we still have a long way to go.”

Souderton’s offense was led by 6-4 senior center Austin Eberhart, who scored eight of his team’s 14 first-quarter points on four shots from the floor. Senior point guard Ty Salone (10 pts.) was the only with double digits for the Indians, who made it to districts last year. Simsick and senior Ian Beardsley chipped in with eight points, each.

With the loss, Souderton falls to 1-2 on the season while Pennsbury pushes to 2-0 with an important matchup with 2015 SOL National champ Abington looming on Thursday back at the Falcons Nest. Pennsbury lost to the Ghosts four times last season including once the SOL Tournament and also in the District 1-AAAA semifinals.

The Indians, meanwhile, must prepare for a big game against PAC-10 Liberty rival Methacton. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12 at Souderton.

Pennsbury 69, Souderton 52

(Dec. 8 at Pennsbury)

Souderton 14 13 10 15    52

Pennsbury 18 19 17 15   69


Tyler Sessa-Reeves 9, Mark Flagg 21, Rob Daly 18, Joey Monaghan 2, Louie Bazas 2, Andre Burch 2, Isaiah Carpenter 4, Addison Howard 9, Josh Rarruda 2.


David Brush 3, Jake Groller 2, Matt Cartwright 2, Tracy Simsick 8, Ty Salone 10, Austin Eberhart 14, Ian Beardsley 8, Mike Bealer 3, Noah Horas 2.

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