Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Hoops: Pepper's buzzer-beater lifts Pennsbury over Bensalem

Pennsbury 63, Bensalem 62

Hoops: Pepper's buzzer-beater lifts Pennsbury over Bensalem

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Pennsbury 63, Bensalem 62

When it comes to playing hoops at Pennsbury, Shawn Pepper is in an impossible-to-top-that situation. His brother, Dalton, netted 2,207 points at the school from 2006 to 2009.

"It's tough, because you always hear about the stuff he did," the 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior said. "It bothered me when I was younger, but not now."

Shawn Pepper will no doubt be relaying to Dalton, now at Temple, what he did in Friday night's Suburban One League National Conference matchup against Bensalem.

His put-back at the buzzer gave the never-say-die Falcons, who trailed by eight midway through the fourth quarter, a 63-62 victory over the stunned Owls in Fairless Hills.

Positioned to the right of the basket, Pepper, a standout in football as a wingback, cleaned up Lewis Troh's miss from near the foul line. Soon after, he was mobbed by teammates and fans.

"I didn't know if I was going to make it out of the pile," he joked afterward. "I was having trouble getting up."

The last-second chance came courtesy of a turnover with 8.8 seconds to go. The first attempt, a left-side jumper by Cameron Jones, was off the mark. So, too, was Troh's follow. But Pepper banked home the winner.

"It's a big win for us," Pepper said. "It gives us a lot of confidence and keeps us in the hunt for the National Conference title."

In avenging a 74-58 loss to Bensalem, Pennsbury, which was 9 for 18 on three-point tries, improved to 10-3 overall and 5-3 in the conference.

Pepper shot 5 for 9 from the field (1 for 1 on treys) and 3 for 4 from the line en route to 14 points. He added eight rebounds (four on offense), one steal, and one block.

With the Falcons down by 61-56, Jones' bomb from up top closed the gap to two. After the Owls' Leo Vincent made one of two free throws, Steve Ciotti's driving layup set the stage for Pepper's difference-maker.

Jones, with five treys, netted 15 points; Ciotti notched eight of his 12 markers in the fourth quarter; and Mekhi[CQ] Bryant (three treys) scored 13 points before fouling out with 5:17 remaining.

Vincent, a Sacred Heart commit, paced Bensalem (7-6, 4-4) with 15 points, eight boards, three assists, and two blocks.

Austin Nyekan (14 points, five boards, three assists) and Donnie Reed (13 points) were the Owls' other double-digit scorers.

Down by 26-15, the visitors used a 14-0 run to take a 29-26 lead at the break. They were ahead, 46-41, going into the fourth stanza.

Bensalem 12 17 17 16-62

Pennsbury 11 15 15 22-63

B: Leo Vincent 15, Deion Jones 7, Stephen Johnson 6, Austin Nyekan 14, Donnie Reed 13, Kyle Kirgan 3, Brian Kilcoyne 2, Andre Mitchell 2.

P: Mekhi Bryant 13, Pierson Burton 9, Cameron Jones 15, Shawn Pepper 14, Steve Ciotti 12.

Rick O'Brien Inquirer Columnist
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About this blog
Rick O’Brien has been at The Inquirer since 1993, primarily covering high school sports in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Reach Rick at robrien@phillynews.com.

Rick O'Brien Inquirer Columnist
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