Penn Charter storms past Episcopal

Posted: January 24, 2004

It is hard to believe that a Penn Charter boys' basketball team that looked so dominant last night actually was struggling with a 6-6 record at one time this season.

But that seems like ages ago to the Quakers, who rolled to a 69-44 Inter-Academic League victory at Episcopal Academy.

The win was the seventh straight for streaking Penn Charter (13-6, 5-0), the defending league champion. Episcopal dropped to 15-3 overall, and 2-3 in the league. Penn Charter entered the game ranked sixth in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer.

Penn Charter players said that one of the problems they had early in the season was putting teams away. Last night, the Quakers took the lead and never let up.

"This was definitely the best we've played this season," said 6-foot-9 center Rob Kurz, who led the Quakers offensively with 18 points.

"It's definitely the best defensive performance we've had this year," said Kurz, a Notre Dame recruit. "Relaxing and coasting in some games was a problem earlier this year, but during this streak, I don't think we've done much relaxing at all."

It showed. The Quakers opened up a close game by holding Episcopal scoreless for nearly four minutes - from late in the second quarter until about midway through the third period. Penn Charter outscored the Churchmen, 13-0, during that stretch to break the game open.

"They played tremendous defense, even though Kurz comes out and plays his man aggressively away from the basket," Episcopal coach Dan Dougherty said.

"They took us out of just about everything we wanted to do. They make you more concerned about shooting outside, and then they pressure you outside."

The Quakers' lead swelled to 56-26 early in the fourth quarter. Episcopal's Wayne Ellington and Gerald Henderson made the final score more respectable. Henderson led all scorers with 21; Ellington added 15.

"Right now, the way we're playing, we expect to win," said Sean Singletary, Penn Charter's Virginia-bound point guard. Singletary finished with 15 points.

"Each game is like another day of work. We're playing real well together, especially good team defense."

Penn Charter took a 28-19 lead at halftime, capitalizing on solid defense and streaky, 10-for-24 shooting. Episcopal, meanwhile, struggled in the early going, turning the ball over four times in the opening quarter.

Contact suburban staff writer Joe Santoliquito at 610-313-8028 or jsantoliquito@phillynews.com.

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