Tonawanda News

Sports

March 26, 2014

Walton and McDermott prove to be ultimate player-coach combo

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Walton, committed to play Division 1 basketball next season at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, called this a truly special season with an even more special group of girls.

"It's very special, transferring here after my old school closed. Everybody has embraced me, and it's like my second family," she said. "We know what we had to do to win the Federation, it was a challenge and everybody stepped up to the plate. It was a great experience."

After a breakout season in 2012-13, this year the Lady Hawks were set to become Keyonte Edwards' team, and many people believed it would be tough to integrate a player like Walton, who was a one-girl show at Holy Angels. But the two seniors clicked almost immediately, and on the floor they were determined to do whatever needed to be done to win.

"It's a credit to (Jontay and Keyonte) — the way they've worked together. It's been seamless since day one," McDermott said. "They knew what they had to do, the formula we needed to have to be successful, and they just went out and did it. There was never any thought put into it, they just knew it was the way they had to play."

With so much talent and only one ball to go around, there needed to be a strong leader at the top directing the show. Sciandra said McDermott has combined basketball knowledge, patience and vision to be the perfect coach to lead the Lady Hawks.

"We can go back 10 years ago where he's not had some very good teams. He's always very dedicated and loyal, he's a high character guy," Sciandra said. "He cares so much for the school. He and his wife are both alumni, and he just bleeds black and gold. We couldn't ask for a better coach."

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