By: Jake Gray
After a heartbreaking loss in the District finals, the Pennsbury Lady Falcons have their sights set on the PIAA tournament with a game against Red Lion at CR South on Friday.
During their game at Temple University’s Liacouras Center against CB West, I’d be lying if I said the team didn’t look out of sorts. Their trademark tough defense wasn’t as impenetrable as it normally is, and their usually high octane offense was essentially nonexistent until about halfway through the third quarter. You can chalk it up to whatever you like: playing in an arena like the Liacouras Center, a young roster made up of players pretty new to the playoffs, or just getting outplayed; bottom line is they lost.
However, this team is more than one loss. We saw it at the end of the game. While it was wasn’t enough to turn the tide all the way, the Lady Falcons were able to mount a comeback and cut down a massive deficit to only 6 with about a minute left. For a while, it looked like they just might pull it off.
However, on Saturday night they just couldn’t. It doesn’t matter how close they were, they lost. But you know what?
I think this team might honestly be better off for it.
This is an incredibly young and skilled team. Ava Sciolla, a dominant force on both sides of the court, is only a sophomore. Bella Arcuri, their exceptional guard who can shoot and pass with the best of them, is a junior. Nicole Pompili has battled injury expertly and it’s only her sophomore season. They’ve yet to reach their peak, and yet they all earned all SOL honors. Mary Miller, the only senior in their starting lineup, also earned all SOL honors after a great season filled with intense play.
The point is that these players are all incredible, but playoff experience matters. Even for players like Miller, as this run is the most playoff success Pennsbury has seen in some time.
Any sort of playoff loss is something that must be experienced to fully understand. It’s a reminder there’s more work to do. It presents a choice: give up or fight harder.
This Pennsbury team will choose to fight harder. It’s been on display all season. They possess this intangible perseverance and determination that I can’t put into words. They do not go down without a fight.
Tonight’s game will put that on display. The Lady Falcons did not enjoy losing on Saturday, and they are going to give it everything they have to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
I do not claim to speak for the team, but I feel confident saying that Pennsbury is still very much a threat. The roster is full of fighters, players who won’t go down easily. They’re coached by Frank Sciolla, whose passion for the game is apparent once you see him go to work.
The Lady Falcons are ready. If you’re in their path? Watch out. If you’re not? Tune in. It’s going be good.