Tonawanda News —
McDonell led the Lady Hawks in scoring as a freshman and as a sophomore, but last season the team’s overall improvement led to a more balanced attack. O’Hara returns three other All-Monsignor Martin players in its starting lineup: Keyonte Edwards at small forward, Kayla Brown at the point and forward Sara SiPasquale. Junior Kelsey McCarthy rounds out the starting lineup for O’Hara.
McDermott is excited about the team’s maturity and experience level.
“It’s a very experienced group — four juniors have been on varsity from their freshman year,” he said. “The seniors as well. They’re very experienced and they’re looking to push even more this year. It’s going to be tough to offset the loss of (Shabazz). She was a great player but everybody is taking it as a challenge. It’s not just going to be one person that’s going to fill that role. It’s everybody together.”
The Lady Hawks are an aggressive team and like to utilize their team speed to get out in transition, according to McDermott.
McDermott only has eight players on his O’Hara roster — four seniors and four juniors — which makes his bench an experienced and capable group. Aisha Shabazz earned the sixth-man award at last weekend’s Pastor-Cooper tournament and McDermott is expecting “huge things” out of the junior this season.
“It was nice for her to get recognized for her efforts,” he said. “Many times she can be a big spark for us off the bench. She’s a very good shooter and she’s very fast — a good all-around athlete.”
Jailyn Dickson and Mary McDermott will also play a significant role for the Lady Hawks this season off the bench.
O’Hara is back on the court against Frewsburg on Friday in the Jamestown “United Way” Tournament.
Contact Sports Editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext. 4117 and find Tonawanda News sports on Twitter @tonanewssports.