By: Jake Gray

After battling for three quarters, a Pennsbury Lady Falcons run in the fourth led to their win over the Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials on Wednesday at Souderton, with a final score of 50-41.

One particular moment from the first quarter encapsulates the entire game.

I don’t remember when it happened specifically and I don’t remember what specifically led to it. But after a small collision in the air, Pennsbury sophomore Ava Sciolla went down, landing on her back.

The ball had just gone out of bounds off of a Plymouth Whitemarsh player. The play was dead. Sciolla stood up, vigorously high fived some teammates, and then flexed her bicep. The fierce look in her eyes said it all.

There was still more than half of the game left, but I knew how it was going to go. Sciolla was going to dominate. There was nothing anyone could do about it.

And dominate did she ever. She led all scorers for the game with 24 points as well as hauling in ten rebounds for a double double. No matter where on the court, she was a threat to score, hitting four three’s in addition to several successful drives to basket, showing off her excellent left hand finish. She’s a walking highlight reel. The jab step that sent her defender into next season. Two step back threes that would have made Kemba Walker or James Harden jealous. Hurling passes down the court to wide open scorers. She does it all.

Her exceptional scoring ability drew lots of defensive attention from the Colonials. This allowed the Falcons to showcase one of the cornerstones of their high energy offense: their generous ball movement. Their five out, spread offense is perfect. By freeing up the paint, it clears out room for the Lady Falcons to drive, cut, shoot.

That offense was not coming easily all game, however. Plymouth Whitemarsh put up an impressive defensive front, commanded by sophomore Jordyn Thomas. Thomas was a force in the paint, disrupting plays and blocking shots all game. On the other end of the floor, sophomore Kaitlyn Flanagan shined. Her nice shooting and knack for getting to the line (6 of 9 on FTA for the game) earned her 10 points. She and the rest of the Colonials kept the score close through the first three quarters.

Entering the fourth quarter, the game was all tied up at 32. It looked like anyone could take it. Pennsbury’s lock down defense is what allowed them to gain some separation and go on a tear and closeout strong.

Just when it mattered most, the Lady Falcons played tougher than ever. Fighting for every board, disrupting shots, forcing bad passes: the highlights came on offense, but they won this game with their defense.

Pretty soon, the Colonials were forced to foul with any hopes of staying in the game. However, Pennsbury was just as hot from the free throw line. They were eight of eight on free throws in the fourth (side note: they were ultimately 9 of 10 for the game), and dribbled the ball out as they clinched a spot in the District Finals.

While I’ve mainly highlighted one player for the Falcons, it can’t be understated how much of a team win this was. Junior Bella Arcuri made some fantastic passes, as well as contributing eight of the team’s 50. Senior Mary Miller is a force on offense and defense, playing with such hustle and intensity that is nearly impossible to accurately describe on paper (she also finished with nine points and four rebounds). 

Coach Frank Sciolla has created a culture of teamwork and effort, something that’s far easier said than done. It’s one of the older cliches in sports, but the sheer amount of fight and heart that this team plays with is truly outstanding. It’s hard to not believe in them.

We’ll see how much more their fight and heart can do as they head to Temple University to play in the District Finals against CB West at 5pm on Saturday.