Long reaches 1,000-point mark, Pennridge tops Souderton

EAST ROCKHILL >> Tightly guarded by Souderton Area’s Ty Salone, Pennridge’s Dan Long drove to the basket, pulled up and fired, his short jumper falling clean through and sending his career-point total to the lofty mark of 1,001.

There was 6 minutes and 58 seconds left in a masterful performance by Long and the Rams, and just moments later, a three by Long provided the boisterous grand finale. Pennridge’s versatile senior would score 27 points in the 83-64 victory, played in front of a jubilant, celebratory crowd at Pennridge High School Tuesday night.

Mark C Psoras--The Reporter  Pennridge's Dan Long ,R, leaps between Souderton for a  basket during first half action of their contest at Pennridge High School on Tuesday December 22, 2015
Pennridge’s Dan Long, right, leaps between Souderton players for a basket during first-half action of their contest at Pennridge High School on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015. (Mark C Psoras/The Reporter

“I’m lucky enough to have had some of the greatest teammates throughout my four years here and I couldn’t have done it without them,” Long said of his milestone, one that now has him at 1,004 for his career. “All of the hard work pays off, and it’s been an absolute blast.”

Long, who also came up with key rebounds and set up his teammates all throughout the evening, was a major force once again as Pennridge improved to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the Suburban One League Continental Conference.

“I’ve been really fortunate to coach Dan for four years,” Pennridge coach Dean Behrens said. “Dan didn’t care about his points — he wanted to win. He would have taken 18 points for a win.”

After leading by 20 at the half, the Rams immediately got a three-point play by Long to begin the third, increasing the lead to 40-17.

Pennridge would control things in the third, with a three by Stephen Lowry beating the buzzer to make it 61-40 heading into the fourth.

Souderton (3-5, 1-3 conference) would get a team-high 15 points from Austin Eberhart, with Tracy Simsick adding 14.

“Our goal was to be 3-1 in the conference going into Christmas, so it’s a nice Christmas present,” Behrens said.

A three by Long improved the Pennridge lead to 18-13 early in the second. Moments later, the senior guard hit a jumper in the lane to stretch the margin to seven.

Forcing turnovers and scoring in transition, the Rams would proceed to blow the game open. Max Wagner (19 points) scored on a rebound to boost the Ram advantage to 22-13 — both Wagner and Long would score nine points in the quarter.

Long twice set up his teammates for shots, passing it out to Wagner for a three as Pennridge’s lead increased to 20, and after a basket by Big Red, Long dished it out to Ryan Cuthbert, whose basket provided a 37-17 lead at the break.

Long’s 14 points in the half led all scorers, as he began to close in on his historic mark.

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