Maeve McCann knew it was over. Not only the game, but her high school basketball career at Bonner-Prendergast.
With less than a minute left in the contest, McCann, a Jefferson recruit, fouled out and cried on coach Tom Stewart’s shoulder as the Bonner-Prendergast girls’ basketball squad lost, 64-50, to Bethlehem Catholic in the semifinals of the PIAA Class 4A playoffs at Souderton High on Tuesday.
“I left everything on the floor,” McCann said. “When I walked into senior year, I said, ‘You guys just got to give everything have.’ And I tried my best.”
Up until she fouled out, McCann dove for nearly every loose ball on the floor and made key plays for the Pandas. She finished with 15 points, including 11 in the second half.
“Maeve McCann had a helluva a game,” Stewart said. “She was all over the place.”
But one thing McCann and the Pandas didn’t have an answer for was Golden Hawks junior guard Jaleesa Lanier.
From the start of the game, Lanier was hot. She helped the Golden Hawks pull away in the second half as Bonner-Prendergast took the lead.
With Bethlehem Catholic and the Pandas tied, 37-37, in the fourth quarter, Lanier drained a trey to give the Golden Hawks the lead. After that trey, Bethlehem Catholic never surrendered the lead again. Lanier scored 26 points and recorded four three-pointers.
“She’s quick,” Stewart said. “The fact that she could shoot the ball as well as she did, you couldn’t play off her. You had to go up on her when she got by you, and then she kicked the ball. She made a lot of shots that she had to make.”
Pandas junior guard Dakota McCaughan scored eight points, and sophomore forward Alexis Gleason had seven.
The Pandas battled back from an eight-point deficit in the second quarter, but their shots didn’t continue to fall, as they had in their previous wins in the state tourney against Bishop McDevitt-Harrisburg, Lake Lehman, and Bermudian Springs.
“Sometimes it’s hard to keep that high level of play up for four weeks, five weeks in a row,” Stewart said. “We had five games where we were really high, and, in this one, we were mediocre.”
BC: 16 9 10 29 — 64
BP: 13 6 16 15 — 50
BC: Jaleesa Lanier 26, Abigail Brown 15, Kourtney Wilson 10, Isabella Rosario 6, Keyara Walters 4, Briana Bernard 3