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Garlow Glows as Thunder Power Past Tonawanda

Back in June the Mount St. Mary’s (0-0, 5-1) basketball program received a big addition with new head coach Fran Snyder, but this fall the Thunder got another boost in junior transfer Lois Garlow.

Garlow, who is originally from Lockport, was a top high-school basketball player the past two years she spent in Utah. Wednesday night the junior made the WNY girls basketball scene take notice with a team-leading 21 points in the Mount’s 65-25 rout of the Tonawanda Warriors (1-1, 1-5).

The Thunder’s full-court press overwhelmed Tonawanda as the Mount jumped out to a 12-2 lead just over three minutes into the game. Garlow picked up back-to-back steals during the run, taking the first right to the hoop and then finding classmate Grace O’Brien in the paint on the second. Jillian Fittry ended the run with a strong putback.

After the Warriors’ timeout, Fittry continued to be aggressive as she got two steals that she turned directly into points. Senior Taylor Hollack hit a three-pointer for Tonawanda. O’Brien got a put-back to give the Thunder a 25-5 lead at the end of the opening stanza.

Garlow led the way in the second quarter opening the scoring with a jump shot. She later got a steal and found O’Brien, who subsequently got fouled. The junior showed off her passing skills hitting senior Sam Miller in the air for a layup. Sophomore Lauren Mucica made a layup to put the Mount ahead 34-11 at the half.

Mount St. Mary’s put the game out of reach in the third quarter. Fittry and Garlow again capitalized on steals. Garlow capped her night with a three-pointer as the Thunder took a 29-point lead into the final stanza.

Snyder was unsure of how Garlow would fit with the Mount, but she has quickly found her role as facilitator and scorer.

“I watched some film on her (from last year in Utah) and I couldn’t tell if she was the point guard or center or forward. She was such a good passer, rebounder and shot blocker,” Snyder said. “When I finally saw her up close I realized she could see the floor well and find people. She’s the oil to the machine.”

Garlow was not a complete stranger to the Thunder program as she played AAU basketball with fellow starters, O’Brien and Rayven Johnson.

“My job is to make my teammates look good,” said Garlow, who’s already a D-I lacrosse commit. “I pass to them, they score. They pass to me, I score.”

O’Brien finished the game with 14 points and Fittry had 12.

Tonawanda head coach John Hall is hoping his team can learn from the loss.

“We knew from the start it was going to be a tough game,” Hall said. “We wanted to learn how to handle pressure. I thought our centers held their own.”

Beyond the starting five Snyder has also been pleasantly surprised with the depth of the Thunder. The new head coach had only planned on fielding 12 girls, however, after tryouts, he ended up keeping 14. It’s one of the strongest benches the coach’s ever had.

“Seven through 14 are all the same and show me something different every day. I’ve never had a team with so many good bench players,” said Snyder, who has coached at Tapestry Charter, Bishop Timon and Holy Angles. “I love this team, they work really hard.”

Mount St. Mary’s goes back to work tomorrow as they host Snyder’s former team in Tapestry for 6 p.m. tipoff. The Warriors will head to Lackawanna on Monday at 6:30 p.m. for an ECIC IV matchup against the Steelers.

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