DREXEL HILL >> Christian Lane has played in his share of Philadelphia Catholic League playoff games: Five, to be exact, in his career with Bonner & Prendergast.
He’s also left his mark on a couple of those contests, including last year’s matchup against Conwell-Egan when he recorded a steal and scored the game-winning basket with under 10 seconds to play to lift the Friars to victory.
On Tuesday night, against those same Eagles, he provided another lasting moment.
After being held scoreless in the first half, Lane broke out for 13 points in the second and helped Bonner & Prendergast defeat Conwell-Egan, 65-51, in the first round of the PCL playoffs for the second straight year.
The Friars (16-7) advance to Friday’s quarterfinal against Archbishop Wood at Bensalem.
Lane knocked down his first shot at the 2-minute, 8-second mark of the third quarter during a 20-7 run that pushed the Friars’ lead to 43-28. Once his first shot went down, drives to the rim began to open up and none was bigger than his and-one with 4:55 left, pushing his team’s advantage to 50-39. The Friars’ lead never dropped under double digits after that point.
Lane, who was 0-for-5 from the field through the first two quarters, knew being in a playoff rematch that Conwell-Egan (9-13) was going to come out with an added edge.
“I just tried to bring my energy,” Lane said. “We knew they were going to try and get revenge on us for last year’s” playoff loss.
Lane was instrumental to the comeback, providing seven assists plus a block and a steal while helping facilitate the offense for Bonner & Prendergast when junior center Ajiri Johnson (12 points, eight rebounds, two blocks) picked up his third foul during the third-quarter run.
Friars head coach Jack Concannon appreciates having a veteran guard like Lane on the court in a crucial moment of a postseason game.
“We’ve seen what he can do and I know what he can do. I have total confidence in him through good and bad,” Concannon said. “He’s not a kid who gets down on himself and we kept telling him, ‘Keep shooting, eventually a couple are going to drop.’ They did then he got going to the basket.”
Lane knows what Concannon expects of him and appreciates his coach’s trust.
“It’s great that I have somebody who puts their trust in me to run the team. It’s great when it helps us win games,” Lane said.
Conwell-Egan held a 14-10 advantage after the first quarter, led by Patrick Robinson (11 points) who had four, but the Friars received a spark from sophomore Mike Perretta. He hit two straight 3-pointers then Johnson finished a drop step move inside to cut the deficit to 19-18 with 4:21 left before the break. Concannon said Perretta’s shooting ignited the crowd and reinvigorated his team.
“Honestly, we’ve struggled to make shots all year but we put Mike Perretta in there and he banged a couple of threes for us,” Concannon said. “It got everybody else loose. Once you see a couple go in, they seem to loosen everyone up a bit.”
The Eagles didn’t go away, ending the third on a 9-3 run as Daniel Green scored a layup to cut the lead to 43-34. Guard Darien Simmons (16 points) scored the Eagles’ first five of the fourth and Conwell-Egan only trailed by six with five minutes to play. Bonner & Prendergast looked to its veteran starting lineup to close it out. Johnson scored four straight points then forward Dylan Higgins (10 points, nine rebounds) added another basket, and Lane finished a spinning layup to push the lead to 58-43 with 1:48 left.
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