READING >> If you live by the 3-point shot, you may eventually die by the 3-point shot.
That axiom pretty much sums up what happened to the Bishop Shanahan boys basketball team Tuesday night in the PIAA Class 5A second round at the Geigle Complex at Reading High School in a 69-61 loss to District 3 champion Milton Hershey that ended the Eagles’ historic season.
The Eagles shot 50 percent from the field for the first three quarters, mainly from the outside, as Bishop Shanahan sank nine of its 10 3-pointers in the first three periods. But, the fourth period was a different story as the Eagles were just four for 16 from the field and just one for nine from 3-point land.
“They are a real good team that likes to push the ball the entire game, and I thought we did a good job staying with them for three periods even though we turned the ball over too many times,” Bishop Shanahan coach Ken Doyle said. “And in the fourth period the shots did not fall for us and we may have run out of gas a little bit. And they got some good looks and hit shots and got the momentum going in their direction. We accomplished a lot this season and I knew this was a special group of kids since they were in grade school. They worked so hard to get better and be the team that they were.”
The Eagles looked like they were taking command of the game early in the second quarter as David Angelo, who led the Eagles with 22 points including six treys, and the inside work of Thomas Ford, looked like they were going to run the Spartans out of the gym. But Don’Yae Baylor-Carroll, who along with Pedro Rodriguez, led all scorers with 25 points each, hit two 3-pointers and the Spartans only trailed 36-35 at intermission. Baylor-Carroll hit five treys, three in the second half, for the Spartans.
The teams traded baskets in the third period and Eagles big man Kevin Dodds, who was held to just 10 points, two in the first half, got going early in the third period by scoring two inside buckets for a 43-37 Eagles lead. Dodds was the center of attention from the Spartans every time he touched the ball.
“I felt like I was in a vise out there,” Dodds said. “they were overplaying me and when I got the ball they were coming at me from different angles but I turned the ball over too much and that was not good for us. This is a tough loss because this team was so close and we all pushed each other to be better and picked each other up when they were down.”
With Carroll-Baylor hitting one of his five treys late in the third period, Milton Hershey took a 50-47 lead into the fourth, and with Dodds being bottled up, it looked like the Eagles were going to have to continue their deadly outside shooting.
But the Eagles went one for their first nine from the field and Milton Hershey (25-3) took control of the taut contest.
After Dodds hit two free throws to pull Shanahan to within 50-49, Baylor-Carroll buried a three from the top of the key for a four-point Spartan lead. But, Dan DiBeneditto came right back for the Eagles, as Angelo hit him in the right corner and the Eagles’ senior did not miss and Shanahan was only down one point with 5:34 to play.
But Baylor-Carroll is a special player and he did everything he had to do to get the Spartans the win. He buried another three for a 56-52 advantage, and after a Eagles turnover, the 14th Bishop Shanahan turnover on the night, Treyvon Ferguson drained a trey from the left elbow and suddenly, the Spartans had a 59-52 lead with less than four minutes to play.
Shanahan kept shooting, but the shots that were falling for the Eagles the first three quarters were now hitting iron, and Milton Hershey shot 25 for 48 on the night to take the victory and advance to the quarterfinals against Archbishop Carroll, which edged Lampeter-Strasburg, 77-76.
“They did not do anything differently in the fourth period,” Angelo said. “We got good looks but they were not falling. this is tough because the season is over and these guys are like my brothers. This was the best basketball season ever and I love all these guys.”
Milton Hershey 69, Bishop Shanahan 61
BISHOP SHANAHAN: Angelo 7 3-3 22, Dodds 4 2-4 10, Ford 4 3-4 11, DiBeneditto 1 0-0 3, O’Malley 5 0-0 12, Chenard 1 0-0 3. Totals 22 7-12- 61.
MILTON HERSHEY: Baylor-Carroll 9 2-2 25, Rodriguez 9 5-6 25, Ferguson 1 2-4 5, Smith 1 0-0 3, A. Cross 0 1-2 1, N.Cross 1 0-0 2, Parry 4 0-0 8, Young 0 0-2 0. Totals 25 101-6 69.
Bishop Shanahan 17 19 11 14 – 61
Milton Hershey 11 24 15 19 – 69
3-point goals: Baylor-Carroll 5, Rodriguez 2, Ferguson, Angelo 6, O’Malley 2, Chenard, DiBeneditto.