Masciantonio, Carroll spoil Bonner & Prendergast’s party

UPPER DARBY >> There was a small Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) reunion among Archbishop Carroll and Bonner & Prendergast players following Friday’s Catholic League showdown.

Molly Masciantonio, a Carroll junior, and Bonner & Prendie senior Maggie McPeak were two former elementary school teammates chatting after the game.

“Old friends,” McPeak said. “We went to grade school together.”

Those days seem like ages ago.

McPeak and teammates Kerri Quinn and Caroline Manfre celebrated senior night Friday, which was spoiled due in part to Masciantonio’s outstanding performance.

Masciantonio scored nine of her game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter, enabling Carroll to claim a 61-47 victory.

The Patriots (15-6, 8-3 Catholic League) grabbed a 42-41 lead on a Bella Sorrentino field goal. Masciantonio then made a 3-point field goal, and back-to-back buckets by Erin Sweeney gave the Patriots a six-point cushion.

Prendie used a 14-0 run in the second quarter and took a one-point advantage after three quarters. But the Patriots snapped out of their mid-game malaise and pulled away in the final eight minutes of regulation.

“We were completely out of energy, I think, and that’s what really slowed us down some.” Masciantonio said of the Patriots’ struggles in second and third quarters. “The first 14 minutes or so, I think we were pumped up and ready. We just knew we had to pick things back up.”

Masciantonio did a little of everything to ensure a Carroll victory. In addition to her nine points, she had three assists, two rebounds and a steal in the fourth quarter. Sorrentino was on the receiving end of two of Masciantonio assists in the final period.

The chemistry between Masciantonio and Sorrentino is evident and a big reason for the Patriots’ success in 2016-17. Sorrentino finished with eight points, seven rebounds and four assists. Masciantonio posted a game-high seven assists to go with two steals.

“We actually played on the same Del Val (Youth Basketball) team when I was in seventh grade and she was in eighth, back before we knew where we’d be going to high school,” said Masciantonio, who converted seven of 10 attempts from the floor, including 5-for-6 from long distance.

Sweeney scored 17 points, including 11 in the second half, and had five rebounds. She went 8-for-10 from the field.

The Pandas were buoyed by the hot shooting of freshman guard Dakota McCaughan, who has the potential to be one of the great players in Prendie history. McCaughan netted 13 of her team-high 15 points in the third quarter. McCaughan was 5-for-6 from the floor with three 3-pointers in the quarter. Junior sniper Emily Monaghan also banked in a pair of treys and came up with two steals in the third.

Alas, the Pandas (13-8, 6-5) went cold in the fourth quarter, shooting 2-of-9 from the floor, while the Patriots literally did not miss a shot (8-for-8). For the game, Carroll shot 61 percent (25-for-41) from the field and dished 23 assists.

“We came out slow and it took awhile for us to get into our sets and get the ball to where it needed to be,” said McPeak, who will play basketball at Cedar Crest next year. “We came out in the third quarter and started out strong. In the fourth, and maybe at the end of the third, we just weren’t getting the ball to where we had to anymore. We took the lead, but I think we were still trying to push it when we should have relaxed more to take the opportunities that we had and work the ball around more.”

Junior forward Nyah Garrison registered 10 points and three assists for the Pandas, who will need a few breaks to go their way in order to qualify for the PIAA Class 4A tournament.

“You always look back on any game and wonder, what could we have done better,” said McPeak, who had five points and an assist. “This game, especially, because it’s a big night with it being senior night. It would be nice getting into states, but you live and you learn. Tomorrow is a new day and we still have (Catholic League) playoffs to look forward to, so we’re going to dial down and get ready for playoffs.”

In another Catholic League game:

Cardinal O’Hara 54, Lansdale Catholic 28 >> Maura Hendrixson was on fire from beyond the 3-point arc. The junior guard nailed five triples en route to a game-high 17 points to pace the Lions (14-5, 9-2), whose win kept them in third place in the Catholic League.

All-Delco Mary Sheehan (11 points, 10 rebounds) notched a double-double, and All-Delco Kenzie Gardler netted 11 points. Hannah Nihill, the reigning Daily Times Player of the Year, chipped in six points and five assists.

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