Tonawanda News

High Schools

January 9, 2013

Joanna McCarthy leading Tonawanda girls basketball team

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Tonawanda News — Being the player that fans and teammates look to to lead doesn't come without some challenges, though.

"It's a lot of pressure because a lot of people are relying on you, but it's just important to be there for your teammates," she said. "That's how I see it. I have to be there for the girls if they have any questions and I try to be a role model for them."

McCarthy is usually the focus of the opposing team's game plan, and that usually translates into playing through frustrating situations. 

Against Hutch Tech on Jan. 3, the Engineers tried to be physical with McCarthy and force her to make tough shots. She took an elbow to the jaw early in the second quarter and just kept on playing.

She said it comes with the territory.

"(Getting hit) is hard but you have to just shake it off and move on to the next play," she said. "I treat every game like a brand new game — like there wasn't one before. I have to make my mark each game. I have to come out strong and make my mark."

Hall said it's work ethic that has been the biggest change in the team since he took over in 2005. The Lady Warriors won three games in his first three seasons and it's been a gradual culture change that finally hit it's apex last season.

McCarthy is the symbol of that work ethic and Tonawanda is hoping that will lead to another ECIC IV championship. 

"We picked captains at the beginning and she was a unanimous choice," Hall said. "The kids look up to her and she's not afraid to come talk to me if there is a problem. She's certainly not afraid to talk to the kids. She's a perfect leader and she shows it on the court. She may not be the fastest or the biggest, but she gives everything she has on the court, and that's what you expect out of your captain."

Contact Sports Editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext. 4117 and find Tonawanda News sports on Twitter @tonanewssports.

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