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Lady Hawks Pass Bishop Kearney Test

No Zeigler, no problem for the Cardinal O’Hara Lady Hawks as they took care of business against Bishop Kearney 68-57 without senior and Canisius commit Anndea Zeigler.

Out of the gates, O’Hara played a strong defensive first few minutes, as the Lady Hawks jumped out to a quick 7-3 lead. Right as it seemed O’Hara was getting hot, Kearney bounced back with a swift 6-0 run and took the advantage 9-7. The Kings had great success drawing fouls early on, but weren’t able to hit their foul shots, going 4 for 9 in the first eight minutes. The teams were running up and down the court and executing their offenses at a high pace, and a back and forth first quarter ended on a 9-0 Lady Hawks run, as they led 20-13 after one.

The Lady Hawks kept their momentum going in the second, as a Shliah Parker three to open the second extended the lead to 10. Each team was moving the ball extremely well and playing basketball at a high level. Kearney was able to shorten the Lady Hawks lead to 5, but another scoring burst for O’Hara to close the half gave them a 36-26 halftime advantage. Shilah Parker led the Lady Hawks with 13, including 10 in the second, and Saniaa Wilson led Bishop Kearney with 13 as well.

In the second half, it was the Kings who came out hot, and cut the O’Hara lead speedily down to 6, but yet again, the Lady Hawks bounced back, and a Parker three put them up 12. That seemed to be the theme of the game: Kearney would cut the lead down to 5 or 6, and shortly after, O’Hara stretched it to double digits. As the third continued, the Lady Hawks continued to step up defensively, and their transition offense helped extend the lead to 15 after three quarters, 57-42.

“We didn’t play at their tempo, we made them play at our pace and it worked for us,” said Parker.

Despite the Lady Hawks playing well overall, they did show some flaws in the fourth, as poor passing and sloppy play led to turnovers. Kearney was able to thin the lead down to single digits at one point, but didn’t get any closer than that, as O’Hara crushed to the finish and the win.

“We’re learning how to play without Zeigler,” said Lady Hawks head coach Nick O’Neil. “She’s going to be out 4 to 6 more games. The girls are finding their roles in scoring, defense and rebounding.”

“We played really great defense, that was definitely the key to the game,” said junior Giorgia Maniero, who helped orchestrate the Lady Hawks’ precision passing offense.

Shilah Parker led the Lady Hawks with 21, nailing five three pointers. Cori Dickson followed with 12.

Bishop Kearney’s Saniaa Wilson impressed, and led all scorers with 23 in the loss. Wilson had an extremely strong presence in the paint, as O’Hara had to double her in the post. She reached the foul line six different times, and went 7 for 11 on her free throws. Marianna Freeman also put up 18 for the Kings.

The win puts the Lady Hawks at 12-2 on the year. They have two huge home games in the coming days, as they take on MMAA league rival Sacred Heart on January 18th. Then, a rematch against 5th ranked class A school Jamesville-Dewitt, who defeated O’Hara 60-54 in early December, on January 21st.

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