The Liacouras center stayed rocking for the second game of the district 1 5A semi-final between the Bishop Shanahan Eagles and the Upper Merion Vikings. Upper Merion ultimately proved to be too tall and deep for Eagles to handle, and the Vikings took care of business 45-30.
Eighth seeded Upper Merion (14-11) did close to the impossible with a road victory over Chester last week in the quarterfinals, as 6’8” Holy Cross commit Matt Faw dropped 23 crucial points to advance them to the semis.
The fourth seeded Eagles (19-7) are coming off wins over Academy Park and West Chester Rustin, showing off stunner defense along the way. The Vikings boast a strong frontcourt of Kevin Dobbs and Thomas Ford, along with leading scorer and floor general David Angelo.
Not much offense from either side in the first quarter led to an unprecedentedly low 6-2 score in favor of Upper Merion. Things wouldn’t end up getting too much better to round out the first half, as Bishop Shanahan headed into the locker room leading 11-10. Both teams came into the game boasting a very hot defense, and that was exactly what we saw early.
Scoring heated up when Upper Merion’s Ethan Miller scored on three straight Viking’s possessions late in the third quarter, paired with a heads up play to take a charge and steal momentum from Shanahan. Miller finished the game leading all scorers with 15 points. Thanks to strong takes to the hole and successful shooting from the foul line, the Eagles trailed one heading into the fourth quarter
A turning point came when the Vikings led 29-24 with 3:11 remaining. Matt Faw rose and stuffed a driving David Angelo, leading to two straight Upper Merion buckets increasing their lead to a game-high nine points.
Andrew Pursaud hit a duo of absolute dagger three balls with 2:01 remaining; making the score 39-24. This put the game out of reach for the Eagles. Bishop Shanahan tried keeping it close with two late 3-pointers from David Angelo, but the lead was protected. Angelo led the Eagles with 11 points.
Upper Merion will head to Villanova to face Penncrest on Saturday March 4 at 2:00 p.m. for the district title.
(Photo Credit: Wave Lane)