RADNOR >> For the first time on varsity, twins Molly and Kate Masciantonio were introduced in the same starting lineup Friday night.
The Archbishop Carroll guards were among the Carroll players honored on senior night.. Kate, who is a reserve player, got the starting nod alongside Molly, who is one of the best girls basketball players in Delaware County.
Near the end of Carroll’s 49-31 Catholic League win over Bonner & Prendergast, Molly tried hard to get Kate a basket.
Molly, meanwhile, scored often and created chances for her teammates. She finished with game highs in points (18) and assists (five). In addition, Molly paced the Patriots with nine rebounds and two steals.
It was a convincing victory for the Patriots, who entered the night tied for fourth place in the Catholic League with Bonner & Prendie and Archbishop Ryan.
“The games that are coming up are all very important and we want a good seed in the playoffs,” said Masciantonio, who shot 6-for-14 from the field, including 3-for-9 from 3-point range. “I think our offense starts with our defense. Once we start hitting shots, it makes things a lot easier.”
Oh, the Patriots had plenty of success shooting the ball. A torrid second-quarter run was highlighted by five 3-point field goals, including three in a row by Mary deSimone, who supplied all nine of her points during that stretch of 14 consecutive points which gave the Patriots a commanding 23-8 advantage. Once the game was tied 6-6, the Patriots used a 23-9 run to close the first half.
The Patriots are a dangerous team. They create turnovers, run the floor, go through their sets and find the open player. Moreover they shot 10-for-24 from long distance.
If the Patriots (13-6, 8-3) can replicate the game they had Friday come playoff time, they’ll be a difficult to beat. They showed why they’ve been No. 2 in Delco all season, behind Cardinal O’Hara, against whom they lost 36-33 in January.
“We’re all about energy right now,” Masciantonio said. “We want to really win it this year … and we feel like we can compete with any team in this league.”
deSimone sparked the Patriots’ outburst in the second quarter. On three straight trips down the floor, the junior guard buried three triples.
Off the bench deSimone provided a big boost to the Patriots, who totaled seven baskets, including five 3s, in the second period.
“I feel like I need to bring energy on the court,” deSimone said. “For the most part we work really well together, so I just kind of want to up the pace and run on the other team. I feel like that’s what we were able to do.”
Once she made one, then another, deSimone figured she would have success the third time around, too.
“I definitely felt that way,” she said. “I thought that it was my job tonight to kind of help us get ahead. We want to get to states and we want to be playing well.”
Needless to say the Pandas (12-9, 7-4), who have lost four in a row, never recovered after the second quarter. Nyah Garrison scored a team-high eight points and Emily Monaghan banked two 3-pointers for six points. Ariana McGeary pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
“They went on a good run, they’re hard to defend and they’re a great team,” said Monaghan, a senior guard, who is the younger sister of Pandas assistant coach Sarah and St. Joseph’s University junior Alyssa Monaghan, who was a Daily Times Player of the Year at Prendie. “Molly is a great player and we kind of lost it against her, getting out on her and defending.”
The Pandas struggled in the third period, shooting 1-for-11 from the field with six turnovers. They made 23.4 percent of their field goal attempts (11-for-47).
“I think we just have to relax,” Monaghan said. “That’s what (head coach) Mr. (Tom) Stewart said to us at halftime. Try to relax and try to go on a run, cut it to six or five points. We still played hard.”
In other Catholic League action:
Cardinal O’Hara 53, Lansdale Catholic 47 >> Clutch free-throw shooting propelled the Lions (14-4, 9-2) to the overtime win. Molly Paolino and Maura Hendrixson each were 3-for-4 at the charity stripe in OT.
O’Hara rallied from five points down with two minutes left in regulation. Hendrixson led all scorers with 17 points and Kenzie Gardler, who was honored at home for scoring her 1,000th career point earlier in the week, chipped in with 14.
In the Central League:
Penncrest 46, Harriton 34 >> Kylie Chelo scored 15 points and Grace Harding paired 14 points with seven rebounds for the Lions (12-8, 8-6), who committed only seven turnovers. Megan Arndt contributed eight points and Kat Mullaney tossed in six.
Springfield 64, Strath Haven 31 >> Belle Mastropietro filled up the statsheet with 24 points, 11 rebounds, six steals and three assists. The junior had 13 points in the opening quarter.
The Cougars honored seniors Sarah Eck and Amelia Brooks before the game. Eck finished with a season-high eight points and Brooks added four.
Faith Raymond paced the Panthers with nine points.
Radnor 53, Marple Newtown 31 >> Freshman guard Brienne Williams had six of her game-high 14 points in the fourth quarter for the Raiders (12-7, 8-6). Audrey Rosenblum added 10 points and Julia Rigolizzo had eight.
Devon Adams (14 points) and Halle Robinson (12) scored in double figures for the Tigers.
In a nonleague contest:
Christian Academy 47, Chichester 15 >> The Crusaders (13-4) blanked the host Eagles 20-0 in the opening quarter and never looked back. Lindsay Haseltine scored 16 of her game-high 18 points in the first half, and hit a career-best four 3-pointers. Hannah Sareyka added nine points and Britney Dike had eight.
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