DREXEL HILL, PA-- A longtime rivalry in Delaware County continued when the Bonner & Prendergast Pandas hosted the Cardinal O’Hara Lions in Philadelphia Catholic League (PCL) girls’ basketball action on Thursday, January 3, 2019. What a night it was for Bonner-Prendie when the Panda’s ultimately upset defending PCL champion Cardinal O’Hara, 68-62, to begin 2019 on a positive note.
“We really wanted to improve and show what we have against the teams that were better than us last year,” said senior guard Maeve McCann.
McCann finished with a dozen points as well as two steals. Her sister, Bridie, a freshman guard, had a great night as well with nine points. Also leading the Pandas were junior guard Dakota McCaughan (16 points, six assists, two steals), senior center/forward Araina McGeary (14 points, five rebounds, two steals) and junior center/forward Alexis Gleason (ten points, four rebounds, two steals).
“We decided to work as a team,” said McGeary. “We calmed down. We had a full crowd and kept it in the bag.”
“We’re just not playing good defense,” said first year-head coach and Cardinal O’Hara Hall of Famer Chrissie Doogan. Doogan served as assistant coach for the legendary Linus McGinty, who retired last season. “We have to get better every day."
Prendie was off to a solid start as Gleason hit back-to-back baskets and McGeary scored to extend it, 6-0. O'Hara senior guard Kerry Patterson cut that lead in half and the Lions gradually settled down. Sophomore guard Amaris Baker and freshman guard Sydni Scott kept O’Hara moving in the right direction during the first half but the Pandas kept the pressure on.
Maeve McCann scored late in the second quarter for a 31-25 advantage, but Patterson hit a free throw with 1:58 in the half and sophomore guard/forward Siobhan Boylan shot a three-point field goal to make it a narrow 31-29 at intermission.
The Pandas were on a roll as the second half progressed. They secured a 50-39 surplus at the conclusion of the third quarter. Bridie McCann registered seven points during the fourth period and that consisted of a three-pointer resulting in a 55-41 score early on. Several Lions, however, especially picked up the pace after that. Patterson scored six points and Boylan had seven including two from the foul line that cut it to 64-62 with 52.3 remaining in regulation.
The game was still not over. Prendie used a full time-out nine seconds later that came in handy. Bridie McCann as well as McCaughan sank two free throws apiece to call it a match.
Patterson led O’Hara with a team-high 23 points. Scott added 15.
“We need to pick it up on offense and get to the basket,” said Patterson. “That’s how we get our points.”
Prendie and O’Hara both have a long season ahead in the Catholic League. Both teams are rather young this year with quite a few underclassmen stepping up.
“We’re so young,” said Doogan. “We’ve been down and cut it. We fight. We have to find ways to start games and not get down.”
PCL play continues for both teams tonight as the Lions host Archbishop Ryan and the Panda’s visit the Lady Vikings of Archbishop Wood. Tip-off for both games are at 7 p.m.