January 21, 2008

Wadleigh gets Peppered by Pennsbury

Athleticism is a useful trait for the Wadleigh High School basketball team of New York, however, being well disciplined is a necessity in order to defeat other disciplined basketball squads.

The very well disciplined Pennsbury High School of Pennsylvania came in and took care of the Harlem school easily, winning by a score of 74-49 on Saturday afternoon at Baruch College during the Big Apple Basketball Invitational.

Pennsbury came into the game knowing who to get the ball to, and that person was 6'4" guard Dalton Pepper. Pepper, who is being heavily recruited by several Big East and ACC schools, held the hot hand throughout the game. Wadleigh, who often went to a zone to defend Pennsbury, didn't keep good track of the 6'4" guard, who was wide open for three pointers and jump shots on several occasions.

However, Wadleigh was able to use their athleticism early in the game to provide them with enough offense to stay close to Pennsbury on the scoreboard, going down by only 2 at the end of the first quarter, 18-16. Senior wing Curtis Loving, who is widely regarded as one of the most athletic players in New York City, scored a number of baskets in transition ad was able to knock down a few mid-range jumpers to keep him and his Tigers team within reach.

The second quarter marked a turning point in the game, as Pennsbury was able to keep the game in their tempo and slowed down the up-an-down style of play that Wadleigh used. In addition, Wadleigh's most dependable outside shooter, Will Harrison, was in foul trouble for much of the half and could never get into a rhythm offensively. Complimenting Pepper for Pennsbury was 6'7" wide-bodied forward David Brown, who was able to provide an inside presence for the Pennsylvania public school. Heading into halftime, Wadleigh trailed by a considerable but not insurmountable margin of 30-22. Pepper led all scorers with 15 points and 3 rebounds and hit all 4 of his shots from outside the three-point arc while Brown chipped in with 7 points for Pennsbury. Wadleigh was led by the senior Loving, who scored 10 points for the PSAL school.

The lead would only grow for Pennsbury in the second half, as head coach Frank Sciolla's squad ran their ball-rotation offense to near perfection on a consistent basis, and with a dunk by the junior Pepper with 1:26 to go in the third quarter, Pennsbury opened up a 20 point lead on coach Mike Crump's Wadleigh team, their largest lead of the game. Pennsbury would cruise from there, going up by a score of 55-33 after the third quarter, and winning by a final score of 74-49.

Dalton Pepper led all scorers and won game MVP by scoring 40 points and pulling down 8 rebounds, while Curtis Loving led all Wadleigh scorers with 13 points. The 40 points scored by Pepper was the all time record for the B.A.B. Invitational until it was broken in the following game by White Plains Sean Kilpatrick who scored 44 points in an overtime game.

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