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Boys basketball: Roman Catholic ousts Pennridge


Christian Guldin and his four other senior teammates will always be able to relish the extended imprint they left on the Pennridge boys basketball program.

“We have been playing together since 11-under at Deep Run,” said Guldin. “Our team chemistry was high from the start, and we played our hearts out every game no matter who we were playing.

“The whole community was behind us for every game cheering and supporting us, which was really cool.”

Guldin and his senior teammates recently ended their careers at Pennridge when the Rams dropped a 62-51 decision to Roman Catholic in a PIAA Class 6A second-round playoff game at Bensalem March 11.

Pennridge’s workmanlike effort kept them within striking range of sheer-talent advantage Roman Catholic most of the early going, but the Rams fell behind by 20 in the third quarter.

They kept plugging away to trim the Cahillites’ lead to seven with just over two minutes remaining, but Roman Catholic’s 6-foot-10 sophomore Jalen Duren then took over in the paint. Duren blocked three of his eight blocks down the stretch to cap his 20-point, eight-rebound performance.

The loss means the end of a road for a senior class that stamped its impact on the history of the Pennridge program by repeating as Suburban One League Continental Conference champs and earning a third straight trip to the state playoffs.

“We’re comfortable in this gym, we’ve been here multiple times and we knew if we came to play defense and hit some shots, we had a chance to hang with some tough competition tonight and making it a close one,” Pennridge’s Trent Fisher said. “For the seniors, the five of us, we knew if we lost that it was our last game so we wanted to play our hearts out and try to keep the season going along.”

“We’re probably not the most talented team in the tournament but we’re going to come in and play the hardest,” Guldin said. “That just showed tonight, playing a team that’s probably going to win a state championship and only going down by 11 points, it means a lot to us.”

“I was happy we got an opportunity to play one last time,” Pennridge coach Dean Behrens said. “I’m not sure how much longer they’re going to let teams play. At least we can say we got to play our last game as a group and it didn’t get taken from us because of the situation we’re in as a society right now. It was nice getting a chance to coach them one last time.”

Note: Less than 24 hours after Pennridge fell to Roman Catholic, the PIAA suspended the boys and girls basketball tournaments.