Few demands pay off big for Carroll

RADNOR >> Archbishop Carroll coach Renie Shields doesn’t make major demands of her players.

“We want them to do what they are capable of doing when they are out on the floor,” Shields said.

That strategy paid huge dividends Thursday night as the fourth-seeded Patriots topped fifth-seeded Bonner & Prendergast, 74-51, in the quarterfinal round of the Catholic League girls basketball playoffs.
When Shields needed her players to make shots against against the Pandas, the Patriots knocked down 11 attempts from behind the 3-point line.

When solid defense was in order, the Carroll outscored Bonner & Prendie, 9-0, to open the second period and forced five turnovers in the third period.

When it was time to go to the foul line, Carroll made its first 19 free-throw attempts before its only miss.

When the final numbers were added up, senior Molly Masciatonio had scored 22 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the floor (4-for-7 behind the arc), shared the team high with six rebounds, handed off three assists, and made two steals for the Patriots. Junior teammate Harlem Jennings chipped in with 19 points (4-for-7 from the field, including 2-for-2 on 3-point attempts as well as 9-for-9 at the foul line) and five rebounds in her first Catholic League playoff appearance.

Alli Dreger added 12 points and three assists, and junior Mary DiSimone came off the bench to score 10 points.
Carroll freshman Karli Dougherty did not take a shot in the game, but she grabbed six rebounds, came up with one steal, and added an assist.

“Karli knows we want her to rebound,” Shields said. “She contributes, because she doesn’t what she’s capable of doing.

It all added up to a trip to next Tuesday’s semifinals in the second game of a doubleheder at Jefferson University in Philadelphia. The Patriots take on top-seeded Neumann-Goretti after defending league champion and third-seeded Cardinal O’Hara takes on No. 3 Archbishop Wood in the opener. The Lions and Vikings square off a6 6:30 p.m. The Patriots and Saints are slated for an 8 p.m. tip. The winners advance to the Catholic League Championship Monday, Feb. 26 at the Palestra (6:30 p.m.)

“They all did a great job tonight,” Shields said. “That’s the way we want them playing.”

Masciantonio hopes her last go-round in the Catholic League playoffs will be her best.

“We can win in the playoffs if we play the way we know we can play,” Masciantonio said. “This is my last year here, so

I’m going to do all I can to help us keep this going.

“We have the mindset that when we play good defense, that can keep us in any game. (Bonner & Prendergast) had played close games against some good teams, so we knew we had to work our offense and go after them on defense tonight.”

Jennings has heard all season about what kind of experience she could expect at playoff time.

“From the beginning, they’ve talked about how tough the teams we would be playing were,” she said. “And I learned right away that the (playoff) games would be intense.

“Tonight, they wanted me to try to shut down Dakota (McCaughan, B&P’s leading scorer, who got nine points – all in the first half). I also had to rebound, go after loose balls, and be a presence on the court.”

Nyah Garrison was the Pandas’ leading scorer with 12 points. She was 5-for-5 at the foul line, and also grabbed four rebounds.

“We’ll practice (Friday), then give them off Saturday before we really get down to preparing for Tuesday’s game,” Shields said. “I’m not sure if we’ve qualified for (Class 5A) states yet. Right now, what we have to think about is playing the late game in Tuesday’s doubleheader.”

Bonner & Prendie’s season is not over despite the loss. The Pandas will take part in the District 12 Class 5A tournament.

In other Catholic League quarterfinal action:

Cardinal O’Hara 59, Archbishop Ryan 36 >> It was an eight-point game until the Lions opened the second half with a 10-0 run. Kerry Patterson had six of those points for O’Hara. She finished with nine.

Stephanie Huseby netted six of her 10 points in the third period to stake O’hara to a 40-26 advantage. Kenzie Gardler led the Lions with 18 points.

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