Shanahan pulls away to knock off Cougars

DOWNINGTOWN – Being the smaller team upfront did not bother the Bishop Shanahan boys basketball as pulled away from Downingtown East with a fourth-quarter spurt to post a 69-59 victory on the opening night of Ches-Mont League National Division plsy Thursday.

The Cougars feature a very tall, athletic front line but Shanahan did not back down one inch.

Shanahan (1-0, Ches-Mont, 2-1 overall) saw eight of the nine players in the game score points. Drew Dolan led the Eagles with 17 points, including three long 3-pointers. Also in double figures were Joe Lord (10), Doug Costin (11), Ryan McNulty (12) and Pat Corcoran added 10 as the Eagles shared the basketball.

“I feel like we are in the best shape of any team in the league and in the fourth period, we pulled away,’ Dolan said. “We like to move the ball around and look for the open man and our game depends a lot of hitting our outside shots. We look inside first and then we go for the open looks and tonight we hit our free throws.’

Downingtown East (0-1, 1-2) was paced by a game-high 26 points from 6-foot-7 Cary Angeline. Shawn King added 14 for the Cougars. But, the Eagles got to more loose balls and seemed the fresher team in the final period. Shanahan had a 49-48 lead going into the final frame but came out flying, outscoring East, 20-11 in the final quarter.

The game was tight for the first three periods with Angeline keeping the Cougars close to the sharp-shooting Eagles, who buried eight 3-pointers on the night. Shanahn kept getting open looks by passing the ball crisply and moving without the basketball. All this came after Downingtown East started the game by leading, 10-2, in the first three minutes.

Shanahan started the fourth with an 8-0 run, started by a Costin basket for a 51-48 lead. McNulty scored from inside after a turnover. Then following another miscue — one of six in the period for the Cougars — Costin went down the lane for a 55-48 lead with less than five minutes to play. McNulty finished the run with a driving layup to make it a 57-48 game to put the Cougars back on their heels.

“We like to share the ball and we don’t care who gets the points,’ Costin said. “We feel like we are going to play hard the entire game and tonight we did that. We like to play bigger teams because they think they are going to roll over us and tonight was one of those nights. We are not going out there to pad our stats, we just want to win games.’

Downingtown East shot just 4 for 16 in the final period as Angeline tried to keep them close. The Cougars made a mini-run when Jaret Cooper drove the lane, scored, and got fouled. Cooper hit the free throw to cut the lead to 57-51 with 3:29 to play.

But, the Cougars’ poor shooting haunted them. Following a Marquan Gallimore miss, Pat Corcoran scored on the break for an eight-point lead. King answered with an inside bucket to cut the margin to 61-55 with less than three minutes to play.

But, Jordan Ambrose hit three of four free throws and the Cougars kept missing important shots and Shanahan came away with the victory.

“These kids all really like each other and they play for each other,’ Shanahan coach Ken Doyle said. “And they do not care who gets the points, they all share the basketball and look for the open man. They are a great bunch of kids to be around.’

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