O’Shaughnessy goes baseline for Poland’s winning shot
O’Shaughnessy goes baseline for winning shot
By BOB ETTINGER
Poland boys basketball coach Ken Grisdale had given the Bulldogs all the advice he could, therefore he didn’t need to take a timeout.
What he needed was someone willing to take a chance. Braeden O’Shaughnessy stepped into the moment and delivered a bucket on a baseline fade-away jumper with 30 seconds left to give Poland a 54-53 home victory over rival Struthers on Thursday night.
“I just saw a kid be courageous,” Grisdale said. “He wasn’t afraid of the moment. He made that 3 earlier, then came down and hit that shot from the baseline. I’m not surprised he did it, but I’m proud of him.”
O’Shaughnessy saw he had an opening and took it knowing the Bulldogs (9-0, 4-0 All-American Conference White Tier) badly needed some points.
“[The defender] set it up nice,” O’Shaughnessy said. “He cheated the ball screen. I knew I had room [to take the shot]. I saw it go in. It was a great shot. Whatever the defender was going to give me, I was going to take it. The play was designed to go that way. I was looking for whatever was open. If a teammate was open, I was going to hit him. If I was open, I was going to shoot.”
The game-winner came on the heels of a 3-pointer from Mike Masucci to get the Bulldogs to within a point, 53-52, with just under a minute to play.
“When you’re in scramble mode, you’re more apt to get a more open look than if you call timeout and call a set play,” Grisdale said. “I had told them all I could tell them in the previous timeouts, so a timeout there wasn’t going to help.”
Brandon Washington’s drive to the hole and scored and Isaiah Torrence was good on a triple to give the Wildcats (4-5, 2-2) a 50-46 advantage with 2:12 to play. O’Shaughnessy answered with a 3-pointer of his own before Torrence connected on another triple to give Struthers a 53-49 advantage with 1:28 left.
The Wildcats played well off the opening tip and took a 16-6 lead with 2:50 left in the first period. Torrence knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and Carson Ryan added another during that span.
“I thought the guys prepared well for this game as any this season,” Struthers coach Jim Franceschelli said. “We had a good start. We were just playing basketball for once. We weren’t thinking, we were just playing. They truly believed they could play with anybody. They had that confidence.”
The Bulldogs used a 14-2 run in the second to take a 27-25 lead. O’Shaughnessy scored six of those points and Mike Diaz added four more. Dan Kramer put the exclamation point on the run with a steal and a dunk on the other end.