By Matt Parrino
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — The Tonawanda girls basketball team hadn’t played in over two weeks when it took the court against JFK on Monday night.
It must have been a restful break, because Tonawanda looked energized for 32 minutes, jumped out to a 20-0 first quarter lead, and cruised to a 60-32 win in the squad’s home opener at George H. Miller gym.
Warriors (2-1, 1-0 ECIC IV) coach Jay Hall said he liked the way his team started the game.
”We did what we wanted to do at the beginning — we came out, we pressured them, we ran the court, and we had some great fast breaks,” he said. “That’s what we’ve been working on. Last year we were a set-it-up, tall team and this year we just have to run and press. The first group executed beautifully. We got into a little foul trouble, which I didn’t like, but for the most part they did our game plan and we followed it well.”
Joanna McCarthy had success on both ends of the floor for the Warriors, finishing with a game-high 14 points and 10 rebounds. Her presence on the defensive end really took JFK out of its game plan early on, giving opposing bigs no room to operate in the painted area.
Hall said that his senior center is “amazing.”
“She (got her numbers) and sat out the whole fourth quarter,” he said. “She’s the heart and soul. If she scores for us like she can it’s going to be hard — with our guards if she can score underneath — it’s going to be tough for teams to stop both.”
Junior guard Alanna Herne was also impressive in the win for Tonawanda. She scored 11 points and finished with seven assists, controlling the ball and dictating the pace of the game every minute she was on the floor.
Hall said her passing and leadership skills are what makes her special, because if she wanted to she could shoot every time her team had the ball. He said that some of the passes she was able to execute to get the ball into the post to McCarthy are examples of why she is so tough to contain for opposing teams.
The Warriors finished with 13 steals and junior guard Kalyn Compeau’s speed was on display every time they got out into the open court. She finished with 10 points and her pressure defense frustrated JFK’s backcourt.
Tonawanda was up big in the third quarter but JFK hit a couple of early-quarter 3-pointers to keep things interesting. That’s when sophomore guard Haley Snyder was inserted and she took advantage of her opportunity, scoring eight-straight points to leave no doubt for the Warriors.
She finished with 10 points (all in the second half) and Hall said that it’s nice to have an improving and talented scorer coming off his bench.
”She is that other guard that we needed to come in and guard,” he said. “Sometimes we’ve played all three at the same time. She’s young and has to learn to relax. It was a great spark, though. ... It’s nice to have someone on your bench that can do that.”