POTTSTOWN>> The Bishop Shanahan boys basketball team saw its season ended Friday night at Strom Gymnasium at Pottstown High School, but the Eagles were definitely not losers. Shanahan stared down the defending PIAA 4A champions, Neumann Goretti for the entire 32 minutes.
But a big 29 point performance from junior Rob Wright, a Baylor University commit, and a 16 point,16 rebound effort from 6-foot-9, Sultan Adewale gave the powerful Saints a very hard earned 74-64, win in a PIAA 4A quarterfinal.
“The kids gave one heck of an effort tonight, Shanahan coach John Dougherty said. “We have a saying that goes we refuse to lose and that is what this senior class brought to every practice and every game. Our underclassmen feed off that energy from the seniors and it really showed tonight.
“We just gave up too many chances and could not stop their big guy on the boards. And you cannot give a team this good all those second chances. Carl (Neumann-Goretti coach Arrigale), does a great job with those kids year after year. We just fell a little short tonight but the effort was tremendous.”
The Eagles (11-16) trailed 30-22 at halftime but they actually had a 22-21 lead after Roman Alexander hit a long three-ball. Alexander drained four treys on the night and had 14 points. Charlie Federico led the Eagles with 20 points, eight in the third period.
The Saints (25-3) extended their lead in the third period when Wright scored on a driving layup too make it a 56-42 Saints lead. But Sean Griffin and Ben Rodner-Tims hit back to back treys and the Eagles cut the lead to just 56-48 with 2:23 to play in the third period.
The Saints held a 48-40 lead after three periods but it was quite evident this would not be another walk in the park for the defending PIAA 4A champions. Federico scored right at the buzzer of the third period to make it a 48-40 game and the Saints were looking at each other dismay.
“Give them a lot of credit because they played really hard tonight,” Wright said. “”We had some lapses and we missed some open looks but they were very tough and we knew it was going to be a tough game and they played very hard.”
As hard as the Eagles tried to cut into the eight point deficit the Saints kept the pesky Eagles at bay with Adewale scoring on second chances and the mercurial Wright getting basket after basket when it looked like Shanahan was ready to make a charge.
Wright brought the ball up the floor with 2:43 to playin the fourth period and fed Amir Williams, who threw down a monster slam to give the Saints a 65-53 lead. But Federico and company kept coming and coming and the Saints actually had to take the air out of the ball with a little less than two minutes to play.
The Saints shot 28 for 55 from the field and only turned the ball over just one time in the second half. Shanahan got into some foul trouble trying to contain Adewale on the glass and the Saints shot 13 more fouls shots than the Eagles and the Eagles turned the balloter 14 times for the game.
“The seniors were a special bunch,” Dougherty said. Ben, Charlie, Roman Alexander and Logan Kapcynski all led by example and I could not be prouder of them.”
Neumann-Goretti 74, Bishop Shanahan 64
BISHOP SHANAHAN (64) Kapcynski 2 0-0 6, Rodner-Tims 4 2-4 12, Federico 10 0-0 20, Alexander 4 2-3 14, Scaggs 1 0-0 2, Griffin 2 2-2 7, Boyle 1 1-1 3. Totals 24 7-10 64.
NEUMANN-GORETTI (74) Ashley-Wright 4 0-1 8, Wright 9 8-12 29, Williams 6 1-1 14, Guokas 0 0-0 0, Smith 3 0-2 7, Adewale 6 4-7 16, Yates 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 14-23 74.
Bishop Shanahan 11 11 18 24-64
Neumann-Goretti 15 15 18 26-74
3-point goals: Alexander 4, Kapcynski 2, Rodner-Tims 2. Griffin, Wright, Williams,
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