Tonawanda News —
Both the Cardinal O'Hara and Jamestown girls basketball teams put their undefeated seasons on the line Friday night in a non league showdown between two of the premier teams in Western New York.
The game was delayed 90 minutes while Jamestown waited for a backup bus after theirs broke down, but the game was well worth the wait for everyone in attendance.
After 24 minutes, the two teams were deadlocked in a 47-47 tie, trading punches in what was beginning to look like an instant classic. But the Lady Hawks landed the knockout punch in the fourth quarter.
O'Hara's defensive pressure wore down the Red Raiders as the Lady Hawks outscored Jamestown, 29-10, in the final frame en route to a decisive 76-57 win.
"We had to keep turning up the defensive pressure," said O'Hara coach Dan McDermott, who thought his team didn't play up to expectations in the first half. "From Day One of practice, we've been preaching to play fast, play fast, play fast — maybe that took its toll on Jamestown by the end of the game. Maybe they wore down a little bit and we were a little bit stronger at the end. That's the way we want to play and we like to make things uncomfortable for the other team, and it starts with defensive pressure."
O'Hara was relentless in passing lanes and on the ball once the Red Raiders crossed half court. The Lady Hawks finished with 17 steals in the game, and if not for some missed lay ups and shots off turnovers in the second quarter, they may have led at the break.
But Jamestown held the lead at halftime, 34-32. In fact, the Lady Hawks never held a lead in the opening 16 minutes. Jamestown went on a 10-4 run to open the game and O'Hara was forced to play catchup after that.