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Small powers Pennsauken to win over Eustace

Frank Small didn't take a lot of shots.

Frank Small didn't take a lot of shots.

He just made nearly all of them.

Small, a burly senior forward, was a master of efficiency in leading Pennsauken to a 54-51 victory over Bishop Eustace Prep on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.

The 6-foot-4 Small was 10 for 11 from the field, including a three-pointer, and 6 for 7 from the foul line for 27 points in an Olympic Conference interdivision game.

Small also collected 10 rebounds and blocked three shots as the Indians stunned the Crusaders, ranked No. 5 in South Jersey by The Inquirer in the preseason.

"He's one of the best around and he played like it," Pennsauken first-year coach Jonathan Taylor said. "He didn't force anything. He was very efficient."

Pennsauken also got eight points and tenacious defense from guard Marcus Jones, and some great work off the bench from Jordan Williams and Elijah Maxwell.

Junior guard Carson Puriefoy scored 19 for Bishop Eustace.

"We missed too many layups and we didn't play good enough defense," Bishop Eustace coach Bob Falconiero said. "We have a very challenging schedule and we have to play better than this."

Bishop Eustace started strong, building a 20-10 lead after one quarter. The Crusaders were ahead by seven at halftime and by 35-24 early in the third quarter.

But Pennsauken rallied with defensive pressure and some timely outside shooting. Jones hit two big three-pointers in the third quarter and Williams hit another three-pointer early in the fourth quarter.

"Our defense was tremendous," Small said. "We were putting the pressure on them and they couldn't stay with us."

Foul trouble hurt Bishop Eustace as Puriefoy and junior forward Sho DaSilva sat out long stretches.

"We got in foul trouble but that was their game plan," Falconiero said of Pennsauken. "Small is tough. We couldn't stop him inside."

Pennsauken closed the third quarter on a 10-4 run, then opened the fourth quarter with a 9-0 surge. Small scored eight points in that stretch.

Jumpers by Greg Sobocinski and Scott Hyland pulled Bishop Eustace back into contention. But Pennsauken pulled away again as Malcolm Johnson lifted a key steal and made a layup, and Williams dished inside for layups by Small and Maxwell.

"Nothing's finished yet," Taylor said. "We've got a lot of work to do. But this was a great way to start."

Pennsauken       10    13    16    15    -    54

Bishop Eustace    20    10    11    10   -   51

P: Frank Small 27, Marcus Jones 8, Malcolm Johnson 7, Jordan Williams 5, Elijah Maxwell 5, Kyle Johnson 2.

BE: Carson Puriefoy 19, Sho DaSilva 3, Dexter Harris 14, Will Lennon 2, Scott Hyland 7, Greg Sobocinski 6.