BASKETBALL BraedEn O’Shaughnessy Poland Bulldogs

The season didn’t go as expected for the Poland boys basketball team.

The Bulldogs were knocked out of the Division II tournament with a loss to Lakeview in the district semifinals.

Despite the defeat, Braeden O’Shaughnessy still considered the 2017-18 season his best since joining the team three years ago.

“I wouldn’t have traded any of the coaches, any of the players for anything,” O’Shaughnessy said. “Obviously it ended a little short, but it was a great season overall.”

O’Shaughnessy led the Bulldogs in scoring throughout the season.

The 6-foot-1 junior averaged 18.5 points, including 39 in the loss to Lakeview.

“At the beginning of the year, I think my shot was a little flat, a little off,” O’Shaughnessy said. “Toward the end of this year it came on. I hope to build on that success and come back and score more next year. I think me and Dan [Kramer] will have a lot of success next year.”

O’Shaughnessy was a special-mention selection when the Div. II All-Ohio teams were announced. He also was named first-team All-Northeast Inland District.

Poland won the All-American Conference White Tier outright for the first time. The Bulldogs split the title with Edgewood last season.

O’Shaughnessy helped lead the Bulldogs to a 22-2 record, including a 17-0 start. Poland’s only loss during the regular season came against Edgewood on Feb. 9.

O’Shaughnessy said he and his teammmates were more confident this year than in the past.

He said the coaches and upperclassmen helped put him and the team in positions to succeed.

“Last year I was rebounding more ... [this year] some more stuff,” O’Shaughnessy said. “I think we opened [the offense] up more with Brandon [Barringer], Mike Diaz and Billy [Orr]. We had different roles and I think it just helped me a lot scoring, rebounds and all that stuff.”

The Bulldogs were the favorites for the district title. O’Shaughnessy said he’s motivated to get back to the title game.

“[The Lakeview loss] will stay in the back of our heads forever,” O’Shaughnessy said. “We’ll be back next year and hopefully we’ll get them next year.”

— Dan Hiner

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