Tonawanda News — “It was looking pretty dire early. We switched defenses and played a half court trap, and then we kind of calmed down a bit,” McDermott said. “Everyone realized they had to step up and by halftime we whittled their lead down to two points. In the second half it was like a dog fight. It was going back and forth and the lead changed maybe about seven or eight times.”
With 10 seconds to play, senior guard Jontay Walton, who went over 2,000 points for her career earlier in the game, went to the free throw line with her Lady Hawks ahead by a point with a chance to make O’Hara’s lead a bit more comfortable. She uncharacteristically missed both shots, but senior Keyonte Edwards was there and tipped in the rebound to put the Lady Hawks up by three points.
Kellenberg missed a last-second heave 3-pointer.
Edwards and Walton both finished with 15 points. McDermott said the win was a complete team victory.
“We needed somebody to step it up and make something happen after Kelsey went out. Our young players, specifically Cory Dickson and Anndea Zeigler, stepped up and had outstanding games,” he said. “Anndea had eight points, a bunch of rebounds and played great defense, and Cory scored 10 points and had a couple big 3’s in the third quarter.”
In terms of the O’Hara program and the legacy this year’s team has helped maintain, McDermott said he couldn’t be more proud of his girls.
“We’ve been taking steps up the ladder every year,” McDermott said. “It’s just been the type of situation, all of the coaches — Nick O’Neill has been a big part of it and my son Matthew have both helped mold everything — are a big reason things have turned out like they have. We just couldn’t be any more proud of the way the kids have performed in the last two games and in the Monsignor Martin championship game. In those kinds games there is pressure and they’ve come through and gotten the job done.”
The Lady Hawks begin their quest for the overall Federation Class A state championship when they play the public school state champ on March 21 at 10 a.m.Follow @tonanewssports and sports editor @MattParrino on Twitter for complete high school sports coverage.