Tonawanda News — Last year's Tonawanda girls basketball team did something no other team in program history was able to do: win a regular season ECIC IV title. Four key members are gone off that team, yet the Lady Warriors (6-2, 2-0 ECIC IV) seem to have picked up right where they left off and look to be the class of the league once again in 2013.
A big reason why is senior center Joanna McCarthy. For a big she isn't very imposing and she sort of blends in with the rest of her teammates during warm ups. That is, until, the game begins.
That's when McCarthy comes alive. She thrives during athletic competition, playing volleyball in the fall and softball in the spring after basketball season ends, but hoops is her true passion.
Through nine games McCarthy is averaging 14.4 points and 11.6 rebounds per game and has notched seven double-doubles along the way. She lives in the paint, fighting through double teams and hitting the offensive boards with tenacity — her skills around the basket on both ends of the court make her one of the best bigs in the league.
Lady Warriors coach Jay Hall isn't surprised in the least at the numbers McCarthy is putting up — she averaged 9.6 points and 7.3 rebounds last season — and said where she really makes the difference is with the way she conducts herself, both on and off the court.
"She's a great kid. On the court, basketball is it," he said. "She takes it seriously and she helps getting the other kids together. She's a great leader, even if she's having a bad shooting day. It'll bother her but it won't get her so down that she stops shooting or doesn't rebound. She tries to pick others up and motivate others."