It's been a while since Pennsbury reached the District 1 girls basketball semifinals. Most of this year's team was still in diapers the last time that happened.
But that was then and this is now.
The Falcons, who came into the Class 6A tournament as the No. 4 seed, will travel to Souderton Wednesday night to play top-seeded Plymouth Whitemarsh at 8 p.m. In the first game at 6 p.m., No. 2 seed Central Bucks West will play No. 3 seed Spring-Ford. Both games were originally scheduled to be played at Wissahickon, but were moved to Souderton earlier this week.
Plymouth Whitemarsh (22-3), which last played in a district semifinal in 2017, has been on a roll of late. The Colonials, who won the Suburban One American Conference title, finally beat Upper Dublin in a quarterfinal game last Saturday, 35-21, after losing the last two against the Cardinals. They have won four of their last six with the two losses coming against Upper Dublin.
Pennsbury (21-4), which last played in a district semifinal game in 1994 and won their only district semifinal game in 1976, shared the Suburban One National Conference crown with Neshaminy. The Falcons have won 11 of their last 12 since a 44-42 loss to Neshaminy on Jan. 14.
Both teams are young, but are not playing young. The Colonials have no seniors on their roster and start two juniors, two sophomores and a freshman. Pennsbury has two seniors on the roster and one of them starts. The Falcons also start two juniors and two sophomores.
PW likes to push the ball up the floor and is led by junior forward Anna McTamney. She is averaging 11.2 points per game and can carry the team. Sophomore Kaitlyn Flanagan is very adept at running PW's offense and is averaging 11.2 points per game. Junior forward Gabby Cooper is dropping in 7.8 points per game and 6-foot sophomore center Jordyn Thomas is picking up 7.2 points per game. Freshman guard Abby Sharpe is the fifth starter.
Defensively, PW plays man-to-man the entire game and will press after every basket made by the opposition. They are tenacious defenders.
"I feel like Pennsbury is a very similar team to Upper Dublin," PW coach Dan Dougherty said. "They're so well coached. They're such a defensive slow-the-game-down (team). But it's different star players to where (Upper Dublin) is Vargas and (Jess) Polin or Vargas and (Dayna) Balasa, they are Sciolla and (Bella) Arcuri.
"So they're a different monster. But they're well coached. Their offense is designed to get all five kids open looks. We're going to have to take away what they do best."
Pennsbury is led by 5-foot-9 inch sophomore point guard Ava Sciolla who is averaging 15 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Junior guard Bella Arcuri is collecting 8 points and 3.5 assists per game, senior forward Mary Miller is contributing 9 points per game and sophomore guard Nicole Pompili is picking up 8 points per game. Junior forward Mia Spinelli is the fifth starter in a seven-player rotation.
Offensively, the Falcons like to push the ball up the floor, but can slow it down and pass the ball when necessary. Defensively, they play a tight man-to-man and have given up just 31.2 points per game.
"Plymouth Whitemarsh comes at you with tremendous size and length at almost all of their positions," Pennsbury coach Frank Sciolla said. "You don't see that much over the course of the year and you don't see that much from a team that pressures the entire game.