Tonawanda News

High Schools

March 29, 2013

2013 Tonawanda News' girls hoops Player of the Year: Leah McDonell


Tonawanda News —

The buildup to the game made the victory even more impressive. All the pressure was on the Lady Hawks, and specifically on McDonell. It’s the situation she’d been preparing for ever since her days at the Boys and Girls club.

“I was really scared. … (but) I wasn’t nervous,” she said. “We just wanted to play hard and smart. Emotions were high and we just wanted them. It’s what everyone was talking about all season long. I was ready and I wanted that game the whole season.”

McDonell’s athletic career has been milestone after milestone, and that was always the plan — even before she ever put on an O’Hara uniform.

“I remember writing a note in eighth grade to my dad, and one of the parts was about going to O’Hara and beating Mellisa Kanalley’s scoring record,” she said. “I like to be remembered when I go places, and I hope I’m remembered at O’Hara.”

As the records fell McDonell continued to push forward. It’s part of her make up. On the court she fears nothing, but in life she’s always been afraid of doing less than expected. She’s always aiming to go above and beyond.

Now at the end of her journey at O’Hara, she leaves a legacy that won’t soon be forgotten, McDermott said.

“It’s kind of hard to believe that it’s been four years,” he said. “From day one when she walked into the school it’s been a very exciting time here. … It’s tough to rank, but I’d say she’s up there at the top of the list, maybe top 10 (in Western New York history). Kids I’ve been watching for 20 years, there’s not too many I’d rather have on my team than her.”




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

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