Gleason’s key basket gets Bonner & Prendie revenge on Carroll
UPPER DARBY — Bonner & Prendergast needed somebody to make a shot in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s Catholic League game against Archbishop Prendergast.
The Pandas saw their cozy 15-point advantage at the end of the third quarter, punctuated by a Dakota McCaughan buzzer-beater from beyond the arc, sliced to three points with 1:52 to play in regulation.
Alexis Gleason had been held without a shot in the fourth quarter when she received the ball inside the paint, made a move and laid up an easy deuce with 33.9 left on the clock. It was only one basket, but the Pandas needed someone to right the ship.
“Oh, we wanted it bad,” said Gleason, a junior forward. “We were throwing the ball away and not making good decisions. We really had to calm things down, set our offense up, don’t try to rush. I got the ball and was able (to get the basket). Confidence is a big thing.”
Despite a 26-point performance by Carroll junior Erin Sweeney, Bonner & Prendie held on for a 47-40 victory.
Last season, the Pandas (3-1, 1-0 PCL) lost twice in blowout fashion to the Patriots, once in the regular season and a second time in the Catholic League playoffs. Revenge was on the Pandas’ minds Tuesday night.
“I’ve never beaten them and I’m a senior,” said guard and co-captain Maeve McCann, who had four of her six points in the final quarter. “They’re definitely a really good team and we’ve always wanted to beat them. It’s also a big rival of ours. It’s definitely a win that sets the tone for our season and proves that we’re a different team from last year.”
Sweeney, the team’s second-leading scorer, shouldered the load Monday night for the Patriots, who were without senior forward Harlem Jennings. Sweeney had 11 of Carroll’s 13 points at intermission.
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Freshman Grace O’Neill, who is the niece of former Carroll coach Chuck Creighton, finished with six points, including a 3-pointer in the four quarter to kickstart the Patriots’ 12-0 run. Mary DeSimone hit a pair of treys in the final stanza, but by and large it was the hot shooting of Sweeney that helped keep Carroll (3-3, 1-1) afloat. The do-everything junior drilled a 3-pointer from the elbow to pull Carroll within two points, 41-39, after Gleason’s layup.
McCann answered by dribbling the length of the floor and hitting a layup with 40 seconds to go. Carroll threw the ball away on its next possession, which allowed the Pandas to clinch the victory from the foul line.
“We had to stay calm and make sure we kept our energy up,” said Bonner & Prendie forward Ariana McGeary, who tallied eight points. “It was a big (win) for us.”
McCaughan, the Pandas’ exciting junior guard, scored all 11 of her points in the second half. But she was particularly dangerous when setting her teammates up with on-the-money passes. McCaughan led the Pandas with six assists and two steals, and she made four free throws in the waning seconds to seal the win.
Reagan Dolan came off the bench to score six points for the Pandas.
“We’re rotating four guards in Dakota, Maeve, Bridie (McCann) and Alexis Eagan. It does keep us pretty fresh,” B&P coach Tom Stewart said. “Then we have Reagan Dolan playing for us, a sophomore, who didn’t play last year. Then we have McGeary and Gleason, so we have a solid seven this year.
“Towards the end, we kind of lost sight of what we were trying to do defensively. We had to pull it together. No. 22 (Sweeney) is such a good player, she is 5-10 and can shoot the 3. We caught a break because Jennings didn’t play. … It’s a big win. Carroll beat us twice last year, so it was good to get one of them back.”