Hot-shooting Brennan and Firebirds cruise to district title


Liam Brennan, with his arms folded, sat patiently on Holy Ghost Prep's bench for the first five minutes of the second half. If he was a bit antsy to return to action, you couldn't blame him.

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Holy Ghost Prep junior guard Liam Brennan drilled seven three-pointers in the first half of Saturday night's 65-47 triumph over Lower Moreland in the PIAA District 1 Class AAA boys' basketball final at Villanova's Pavilion.

In the first half of Saturday night's PIAA District 1 Class AAA boys' basketball final against Lower Moreland, the junior guard drained seven three-pointers. Six came in the second quarter of a 65-47 romp at Villanova's Pavilion.

"I was kind of upset, but it's the coach's choice," Brennan of waiting to return to the hardwood. "He knows the game better than I do."

Brennan shot 7 for 9 from three-point territory in the first. In the second stanza, he was 6 for 7 on treys.

"I came off a bad game against Glen Mills [in Wednesday's district semifinal], and I wanted to make up for it," the 17-year-old said."I took my shots, and I made them."

Overall, Brennan, of New Hope, went 7 for 10 from beyond the arc. He missed his only second-half attempt. With seven treys, he fell one short of equaling the school record.

"There are times in practice when he'll knock down shot after shot," Firebirds coach Tony Chapman said. "He's a great shooter. His teammates have the utmost confidence in him."

Next Friday, at a neutral site and time to be determined, Holy Ghost (22-6) will take on Bermudian Springs, District 3's fourth-place qualifier, in the opening round of the state tournament.

Lower Moreland (16-9) also advances, and will face Pottsville, District 11's runner-up, next Friday.

Brennan, a sixth man whose previous single-game high for treys was three, added two rebounds, two assists, and a steal.

Holy Ghost captured its third district title in the last five seasons. Chapman has won six in his 36-year career in Bensalem.

In the Firebirds' fourth win over the Lions this season, swingman Matt England totaled 14 points, nine boards, and three assists. Fellow seniors Joe Braun and Zahir Watkins (seven boards) chipped in nine and eight points, respectively.

Chapman threw several defenders at Lions standout Danny Duffey, including Tim Brennan (no relation to Liam) and Mike Kirby. The sophomore guard was limited to seven points on 4-for-13 shooting.

Freshman Matt Cerruti paced Lower Moreland, which trailed by 31-16 at intermission, with 13 points.

Lower Moreland 12 5 14 16-47

Holy Ghost Prep 12 25 14 14-65

LM: Dan Duffey 8, Nick Cerruti 5, Phil Madden 7, Stefan Zoubroulis 6, Matt Cerruti 13, Nick Smolda 2, Tyler Milian 6

HGP: Mike Kirby 6, Zahir Watkins 8, Matt England 14, Joe Braun 9, Tim Brennan 2, Andre Puleo 2, Liam Brennan 23, Tim Brandt 1.

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