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Long becomes Pennridge’s all-time scoring leader in win over CB West

EAST ROCKHILL >> Dan Long took care of history early Tuesday night.

Needing just two points to surpass Tim Abruzzo as Pennridge all-time leading scorer, Long eclipsed the mark by scoring the Rams’ first basket against Central Bucks West – a layup off a feed inside by Max Wagner.

Then it was on to more pressing matters.

“Get it out of the way and just worry about winning, that’s the most important thing,” the senior said.

Long and Pennridge took care of that in the second half. Long scored nine of his game-high 23 points in the third quarter, while the Rams built a double-digit advantage in the fourth before holding off a hard charge by the Bucks late for a 63-60 Suburban One League Continental Conference boys basketball victory.

“They’re a tough team to beat. They’re a tough team to close out,” said Long of the Bucks. “They gave us everything all the way down to the wire, so felt good to get that win.”

Pennridge (14-3, 8-1 conference) led by as much as 13 twice in the final quarter, the second time after two Devon Balmer free throws with 1:46 remaining made it 57-44. West (14-3, 8-1), however, would not let the Rams cruise to a win. The Bucks – who were missing Cal Reichwein due to an injury – ended the game on a 16-6 run, but that was not enough to overcome their offensive struggles in the third.

“They were sagging off and giving us wide-open shots, we missed I thought it was four or five jump shots in a row in that third quarter,” CB West coach Adam Sherman said. “Against a good team like Pennridge, you can’t afford to have that many empty possessions.”

The win puts Pennridge in a tie for first place with CB West in the SOL Continental with five games left in conference play.

“Tonight, obviously for us, West hasn’t had a (conference) loss. We think West is pretty good. I think a lot of teams in the area think West is good,” Rams coach Dean Behrens said. “The first half was shaky. Defensively, we did not do a great job trying to contain their shoots. They got to the basket too easily. We didn’t rebound well at all, I think for the whole game, I think that was a real problem.

“But I thought offensively in the second half we kind of got moving a little bit and obviously having Dan Long on the floor and Max Wagner sort of making their presence felt in the second half.”

Balmer scored 11 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter. Wagner chipped in 10 points.

Luke Irons and Connor Lynch paced the Bucks – who had a six-game win streak snapped – with 13 points each.  Lynch hit four 3-pointers. Bill Power added 11 points, while Jake Reichwein finished with 10 points.

Long came into Tuesday with 1,151 career points, just one behind the 1,152 of Abruzzo, who graduated in 2012 and is now a junior on the Navy men’s basketball team.

“I’ve been talking to Tim Abruzzo – we’re going to see him tomorrow night at Lehigh when they go play Lehigh, Navy’s in first place in the Patriot League,” Behrens said. “Tim’s aware of it. I said that No. 4 been a good number, that’s a lot of points, that’s over 2,200 points. Tim wore No. 4, now Dan wore No. 4. But what’s cool is Tim and Dan we’ll text a little bit or Twitter, whatever, so it’s pretty cool. Tim encourages him and he says it’s great that he’s breaking the record.”

Long now carries 1,174 points into the Rams’ next game, a visit to Central Bucks South Friday. CB West hosts Souderton Thursday in a game that was pushed forward due a forecast of snow Friday.

“Every game in this (conference) is a battle,” Long said. “Nothing’s guaranteed, so we got to play it one game at a time and then see what happens from there.”

A Power 3 late in the second quarter put CB West up 27-24, but Long got to the basket from two just before the buzzer to get the Rams to within a point at halftime.

Long’s three-point play at 4:44 in the third had Pennridge up 31-29 before Irons went 1-for-2 at the line and Lynch drained a triple to put West ahead 33-31.

That was the Bucks’ last lead of the contest. Long hit a turnaround jumper, while Stephen Lowry was fouled going to basket after a steal and made both free throw for a 33-31 Rams’ advantage at 1:48. A Max Wagner steal and breakaway dunk made it 37-33. Long’s bucket just before the quarter’s end had the host up by six.

“Keep doing what we’re doing all year, attacking the basket,” Long said. “Teammates spread the floor well, opened up some opportunities for me.”

A Long basket off a drive and Wagner’s baseline jumper made it 43-33. Wagner putback his own miss for a 47-35 lead before a 7-2 West run sliced the margin to 49-42 on Lynch trey.

Six straight points by Pennridge – the last four by Wagner – had the lead at 55-42 with two Balmer free throws put the Rams again ahead a baker’s dozen with 1:46 left.

West began to have shots fall – including Erich Hohenleitner and Lynch connecting from 3 – to make the final minutes interesting. Pennridge, however, connected on enough free throws (6-of-8) to blunt the rally. An Irons basket made it 63-60, but clock ran out from there.

Pennridge led 14-10 after the first eight minutes and was up 24-17 in the second quarter before West’s 10-0 run capped by a Power three had the Bucks leading 27-24. Long proceeded to race down the court for a last-second basket, cutting West’s edge at the break to 27-26.


Central Bucks West101762760

Central Bucks West

3Billy Power335211
10Luke Irons434213
11Connor Lynch412413
24Jake Reichwein423010
25Collin MacAdams20004
32Erich Hohenleitner40019


3Devon Balmer378114
4Dan Long945123
12Stephen Lowry22217
35Ryan Cuthbert41109
42Max Wagner502010

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