What's up with these Falcons? Don't they understand that they're not supposed to be this good?
Pennsbury doesn't have a player taller than 6-foot-6. And of the players the Falcons do have, none honed their skills on the blacktops of Philadelphia or Chester.
But the road to the PIAA Class AAAA state might still go through Pennsbury.
The Falcons return four starters from a team that made its first Class AAAA state semifinal appearance in school history.
A lot of Pennsbury's success will depend on West Virginia signee Dalton Pepper. The 6-5 senior guard is one of the nation's top 150 players in the Class of 2009, according to rivals.com.
A four-year starter, Pepper is 20 points shy of breaking the Pennsbury boys' career scoring record of 1,552 set by Jason Vegotksy in 2005.
He is 225 points shy of breaking the overall school record 1,757 set by former girls' standout Dana Mitchell in 2006.
Junior guard Jesse Krasna and senior guards Eddie Dirugeris and Marcus Healey are the other returning starters. Coach Frank Sciolla said earlier this week that the final starting spot was still open.
Good things are expected from the Falcons no matter who moves in that vacant spot.
Pennsbury is ranked fourth in The Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania preseason rankings. And that's bad news for the Falcons' Suburban One National Division foes.
Pennsbury holds a 44-game league winning streak. It also has gone 66-6 against in SOL play over the last five seasons.
This was supposed to be the season in which Plymouth Whitemarsh was venerable.
SOL American Conference foes salivated over the graduation of seven Colonials from last season's squad. The drooling stopped once they took a peek at the PW roster.
Junior center C.J. Aiken (6-9) and sophomore swingman Jalen Bond (6-6) transferred in from La Salle. Plymouth Whitemarsh also has one of the area's top freshmen in Damien Williams. The 6-5 guard moved to the Fort Washington area from the Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia.
"Now, on paper, people are getting excited," Colonials coach Jim Donofrio said, "which is nice."
Senior point guard Will Mascio and sophomore shooting guard Sam Pygatt will join the newcomers in the starting lineup.
How good is Norristown?
That answer may depend on senior guard Khalif Wyatt.
The Temple signee is one of three returning starters from last season's Class AAAA state runner-up squad. Unfortunately for the Eagles, the 6-3 standout is one of the few tall players on the team.
One of the area's better shooters, Wyatt may need to score a lot of points if Norristown expects to duplicate last season. The Eagles made its first state championship game since 1976 and fifth overall.
Norristown won the Class AAA title in 1948 and was the runner-up in 1962, 1971 and 1976.
Wyatt is not the only SOL player with deadly range. Quakertown senior forward Brett Roseboro, Central Bucks South senior swingman Will Barrett and Pepper are all among Southeastern Pennsylvania's best outside shooters.
- Keith Pompey