PC’s O’Donnell lights up Carroll

CRESSON — Braedon O’Donnell and Penn Cambria basketball coach Jim Ronan have this understanding. Simply put: If he feels like it, go for it.

O’Donnell hit four 3-pointers during a pivotal stretch in the third quarter as the Panthers held off young but stubborn Bishop Carroll, 54-46, in a Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference game on Monday night.

“He’s the most pure shooter that I’ve seen in the high school game this year,” Ronan said. “And when he gets rolling like that, it’s pretty automatic.”

“He hit some key 3s. Give him credit,” Bishop Carroll coach Cosie Aliquo said.

O’Donnell hit a total of six 3’s and led all scorers with 21 points. He hit five of his 3-pointers in the second half.

“What really got me going was when Mason (Ronan) ‘broke the kid’s ankles’ at halfcourt and then passed it to me in the corner. And it made it,” O’Donnell said. “It just got me going and I caught fire.”

O’Donnell made four successive 3-pointers as the Panthers turned a 31-28 lead into a 40-30 advantage.

“Without a doubt, when he has the hot hand we want him to keep shooting until he misses,” Ronan said. “It’s (like a) heat check. We give him free reigns. But once that light goes off, then we’ve got to be able to work our offense again until we give somebody else a better shot.”

“He always tells me, ‘shooters shoot,'” said O’Donnell, who took an 8.7 points per game average into this week.

The Huskies attempted to trap Penn Cambria, a tactic Ronan knew his team would have to solve.

“That’s always the key to them. They’ve been a pressing team for the past 10 years, and if you get in a hurry they’re going to make you pay,” he said. “I felt when we rotated the ball good things happened. When we took our time against the press we got good shots.”

Penn Cambria committed only 13 turnovers while it forced 19. Tanner Perrone added 18 points, ripped down seven rebounds and added three steals.

Alex Persio led the Huskies with 12 points, followed by Alec Ratchford (10).

“(It’s) a young ballclub that’s growing,” Aliquo said. “Right now we just need to be better with the basketball. We’ll be fine.”

BISHOP CARROLL (46): Persio 4 1-2 12, Ertter 1 4-4 6, Eckenrode 2 0-0 6, Ratchford 5 0-1 10, Rodkey 2 0-0 5, McDannell 0 0-0 0, Lamb 0 0-0 0, Karlheim 0 2-2 2, Semelsberger 2 0-0 5, Burk 0 0-0 0, Zasvrskey 0 0-0 0, Totals 16 7-9 46.

PENN CAMBRIA (54): O’Donnell 6 3-7 21, Kost 1 0-0 2, Shuagis 2 2-6 7, T. Perrone 5 5-5 18, Ronan 0 2-7 2, R. Perone 0 0-0 0, P. Farrell 0 0-0 0, Garrett 0 0-0 0, C. Farrell 2 0-0 5, Reese 0 0-0 0, Totals 16 12-25 54.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Bishop Carroll     5 14 16 11 — 46

Penn Cambria     12 19 14   9 — 54

3-point field goals: Bishop Carroll 7 (Persio 3, Eckenrode 2, Rodkey, Semelsberger), Penn Cambria 11 (O’Donnell 6, T.Perrone 3, Shuagis, C.Farrell).

Team records: Bishop Carroll (3-7, 1-5), Penn Cambria (6-5, 2-3).

Officials: Denny Gramling, Ray Rolla, Pat Kirby.

JV: Bishop Carroll, 53-27.

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