Pelan, Palmer push Scotus past Madison

February 19, 2019

Caden Pelan and Tyler Palmer combined for nearly 50 points, the Shamrocks shot 38 free throws and Scotus Central Catholic boys basketball moved out of the first round of sub-district playoffs on Monday with a 67-55 victory over Madison.

Pelan scored 25, all of which he had through the first three quarters, while Palmer had 24 and put together 17 of that total in the fourth quarter alone.

It’s the second straight 20-plus point performance for Pelan, who had 21 last Thursday as Scotus snapped a 12-game losing skid in a win over Aquinas. The Shamrocks, now 7-16 after the win, are looking to make it three in a row for the first time all year and keep their season alive with a sub-district semifinal win Tuesday over top seed Twin River.

“My coaches have really told me that I have the possibility of putting up 20 a night, and we’ve been working on it in practice. I’ve been focused in on shooting it a little more and focused on my shot,” Pelan said. “I think the results speak for themselves.”

Pelan had 16 of his game-high total by halftime and was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line in the first two quarters. When he wasn’t tipping away passes, finding open teammates, driving in for a layup or spotting for 3, he was drawing fouls.

Scotus shot 38 total free throws and made 27 while forcing Madison into 28 fouls.

Some of Pelan’s resurgence has to do with health. He wasn’t fully 100 percent when the season and likely hasn’t been all year after a knee injury during football season the subsequent minor surgery after.

Closer to form plus more urgency as a senior to keep his career alive have helped him find a stride lately. That and, as he mentioned, a conversation with the coaching staff.

“You say you’re healthy, but how healthy are you really? I think it was more or less the fact that I sat down with him and Grant (Shanle) and said, ‘You guys are only taking eight or nine shots each. It needs to be more like 12 or 13,’” coach Tyler Swanson said.

“We need to have guys who are consistent scorers, who are leaders and who can take us over the edge. Caden has been coming out great shooting the ball. Whether he makes jump shots or not, he’s been getting to the rim.”

Swanson emphasized that early with Scotus down 2-0 and an early timeout in the first minute. He didn’t appreciate three 3-pointers without much ball movement.

The Shamrocks, and Pelan especially, responded by attacking the rim, forcing fouls and getting to the line. Still, the ’Rocks could never fully put the Dragons away.

They made timely 3-pointers and transition buckets every time Scotus was about to stretch the lead from 10 to 12 to 14 or more.

Palmer then scored all but two Scotus points in the fourth and put the game away.

“He played a great game. He’s capable of that every night,” Pelan said. “When he’s in control, there’s no one that can stop him. He’s always the best athlete on the court.”

Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sports@columbustelegram.com