TOWN OF TONAWANDA —
The Lady Hawks (10-0, 5-0 MMAA) got off to a slow start in the first quarter, playing to an 8-8 tie after eight minutes with Mt. Mercy. But from the there O'Hara got in sync and outscored Mt. Mercy 56-18 in the final three quarters.
McDonell finished with only eight points, illustrating the evolution of her game in the parameters of the O'Hara team. When she was a freshman, McDermott said she accounted for 75 percent of the team's scoring, but McDonell's supporting cast has grown in terms of talent the past two seasons.
McDermott said that McDonell's leadership and unselfishness is the exact reason the Lady Hawks have been able to go undefeated this season after winning the school's first state championship last year.
"Her role has changed and the way she fits in with the team has changed all four years, but whatever the situation is she's the type of player that can adapt," he said. "These last two years we've gotten better players around her. That's the strength of this team — the way we share the ball. It hasn't been a problem that her numbers have dropped a little bit because she's about the team."
The Lady Hawks have a pair of bigs that have been dominant this season. Senior Sara DiPasquale and junior Kelsey McCarthy give McDermott a pair of aggressive and talented post players that compete hard on the glass every game. McCarthy scored a game-high 16 points and had 14 rebounds against Mt. Mercy, while DiPasquale scored 10 and grabbed 16 rebounds.
Keyonte Edwards scored 12 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out seven assists and Jailyn Dickson also scored 12 points.
McDonell said after the game that if O'Hara continues to play with focus and the determination it's shown so far this season, it's out of the realm of possibility for the team to go undefeated. That's her focus: winning and being there for the other seven girls lining up beside her. She credits them for her success.
"When you really look at it, it's a team effort that's gotten me to where I am," McDonell said.
Contact sports editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext. 4117 and find Tonawanda News sports on Twitter @tonanewssports.