By Matt Parrino
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — Tonawanda coach Jay Hall had one message for his team on Wednesday night against Holland: stop Olivia Schmidt. The sensational Holland freshman entered the game averaging 23 points per game and Hall implemented a 3-2 zone, a set the Lady Warriors hadn't played all season, to slow her down.
Schmidt still scored 20 points and sank three 3-pointers, but Tonawanda limited her throughout the game and held off Holland in the final minutes to pull out a 47-39 win.
Hall was excited at the result and thought his players turned in a gutsy effort.
"It was an excellent win. Even up until the end I still wasn't set that we were going to pull it out because they're a great team," he said. "The way they shoot 3's they can come back at any minute. We played hard. We worked on the 3-2 (zone) in practice and it came in pretty handy."
Senior Joanna McCarthy turned in her usual game, scoring 20 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Along with Savanna Baughman down low, she made life difficult for the Dutchwomen in the paint.
The Lady Warriors backcourt shined on both ends of the floor. Kalyn Compeau finished with 11 points, seven assists and six steals and was tough to handle in transition, despite Holland's attempt to slow her down with a full court press at different times in the game.
Hall said Compeau is really starting to come on and her confidence is soaring.
"She's definitely feeling more comfortable. In the beginning of the year she was a little timid and let Alanna (Herne) handle it all the time, but I think when Alanna actually missed a game in our tournament, the pressure was on her to do it and I think that built her confidence up," he said. "I'm confident in all three of our guards. Haley will make some sophomore mistakes but she'll come through when we need it."
Snyder scored six points and had six steals, while Herne finished with six points and nine assists.
Herne was thrilled to pull out the win, but she knows the road only gets more difficult as league play continues.
"I'm so excited. Holland is the game we look forward to the whole season," she said. "We can't take any team lightly because every team in our division is getting bigger and stronger, and they're winning against teams you wouldn't expect them to win. So we just have to keep our head up."
The Lady Warriors built a double-digit lead early in the second half on the strength of an 8-0 run that started on a Snyder fast-break layup at the end of the first quarter. Tonawanda outscored Holland in each of the first three quarters, but the Dutchwomen tried to make a game of it late.
Holland went on a 15-4 run to close out the game, highlighted by a deep 3-pointer from Schmidt in the final minute, but it wasn't enough.
Tonawanda made big plays in transition, which has become part of the team's identity.
"It wasn't a perfect game but it was good enough for us to win. We ran the court well, got some easy baskets and fast breaks and that's what we want to do — play great defense, push it up the floor and score," Hall said. "That's what our season has been about so far.
The Lady Warriors were shorthanded in the game and played without Alex Moore and Ashley Kowacyk. Both players have started at points this season for Hall, who used only six players in the game.
Contact sports editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext. 4117 and find Tonawanda News sports on Twitter @tonanewssports.