Scott helps O’Hara rebound, run past Bonner-Prendergast

MARPLE — Sydni Scott had a difficult time forgetting Cardinal O’Hara’s most recent games, when the Lions lost a pair of heartbreakers to Archbishop Carroll and Archbishop Wood by a combined five points.

“After we took those two losses I feel like we all had to regroup and have fun,” said Scott, an All-Delco junior guard. “So in practice we just had to focus on the next game because we were dwelling on the game before, the tough loss. So we came out here and took all our anger out, I guess.”

Bonner-Prendergast was the recipient of the pent-up frustration. Scott erupted for 18 points on a crisp 7-for-9 shooting from the floor to lead O’Hara to a 60-31 victory.

It was an enjoyable home opener for the Lions, who hadn’t played in their gymnasium since Feb. 13, 2020, when they defeated Carroll in the quarterfinal round of the Catholic League playoffs.

After getting their groove back against Bonner-Prendie, the Lions turn their attention to the rematch against Wood Tuesday.

Cardinal O’Hara’s Maggie Doogan goes to the net in the first half against Bonner-Prendergast. Doogan finished with 10 points in the Lions’ 60-31 victory. (PETE BANNAN – MEDIANEWS GROUP)

“Those two losses were definitely a gut-check for us,” said junior forward Maggie Doogan, who recorded 10 points, three steals, two assists and a blocked shot. “I mean, we are obviously a very talented team but it also taught us that we need to always play defense and play hard for the full 32 minutes and not just, you know, for 28 or whatever. I think this one helped us and definitely gave us a boost for Wood on Tuesday and hopefully we’ll get them back.”

The turning point Friday occurred in the final five minutes of the second quarter when the Lions exploded for 15 straight points to close the half and take a 32-11 lead into halftime. Scott was the catalyst, using her quickness and smarts to get the Lions out and running on the open floor. The Pandas just couldn’t slow them down.

Kaitlyn McPeak puts up a 3-pointer in the first half of Cardinal O’Hara’s game against Bonner-Prendergast Friday. (PETE BANNAN – MEDIANEWS GROUP)

“I feel like the game wasn’t slipping away from us, but we were hurting ourselves and making mistakes,” said Bonner-Prendie senior forward Reagan Dolan, who had a strong all-around game with 10 points and team-highs in rebounds (four) and assists (two). “We just have to learn how to slow it down when we have to, listen to our coaches and trust one another.”

Scott scored nine points, and the O’Hara defense forced six turnovers in the second period. O’Hara coach Chrissie Doogan said her team is trying to find its identity, but the Lions may have found it during that second-quarter run. The fast-paced style is precisely the brand of basketball O’Hara wants to play on a nightly basis.

“We want to continue to push the ball in transition and see what we can get,” Chrissie Doogan said. “We haven’t even gone off from (3-point distance) yet. We have four 3-point shooters on the floor, usually for most of the game. Hopefully we can get into that mode and start really driving and kicking and be ready to shoot. Some of that’s conditioning, I think. The more we play, the more in-shape we become, the more the shots are going to fall.”

The Lions shot better than 50 percent (23-for-43) from the field, including 5-for-14 from 3-point range. Scott set the tone with her brilliance on the offensive end.

“She’s fun to watch when all things are clicking,” Chrissie Doogan said. “She really took the Wood loss hard the other night. She took it upon her own shoulders, basically, and she needed this game. She needed a feel-good game where she could do what we know she’s capable of doing and that’s basically what she did and I’m proud of her for bouncing back and not holding her head down or anything. I’m looking forward to seeing if she can carry it over into these next games this coming week.”

Bonner-Prendie’s Biridie McCann shoots in the fourth quarter against Cardinal O’Hara. McCann led the Pandas with 11 points. (PETE BANNAN – MEDIANEWS GROUP)

Amaris Baker had a solid floor gamer with six points and three assists for the Lions (2-2). Annie Welde pulled down a game-high eight rebounds to go with four points and a pair of assists.

The Lions hope they got on the track Friday and are ready to make a run in this shortened season. This is, after all, a team with the potential to go all the way in the Catholic League and the PIAA tournament next month.

“I told our team that basically we’re still in December mode. We’ve been practicing for only a month,” Chrissie Doogan said. “In a regular year, we would have some nonleague games to work the kinks out. I’d like our juniors and seniors to play like juniors and seniors and against Carroll and Wood, they didn’t. They made some rookie mistakes, the turnovers killed us. … We need to work on end-of-game situations and just trying to find our identity overall.”

Junior point guard Bridie McCann led the way for the Pandas (0-2) with 11 points. Aniyah Jackson added four points, three rebounds and one steal.

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