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Turner’s 39 Lifts Wolverines to Big Win Over O’Hara

After suffering a heartbreaking loss to Amherst 24 hours prior to their showdown with Cardinal O’Hara, Jaemon Turner and his Niagara Falls teammates knew a bounce back win was just what they needed.

If their performance on Saturday night is any indication, the Wolverines are back on track.

Turner dropped 39 points as the Wolverines utilized a massive second half to rout the Hawks, 71-38, in the final game of the Cataract City Classic at Niagara Falls High School.

It was a tale of two halves for Falls, as a back-and-forth first two quarters laced with strong defense and missed shots from both sides finished with a 6-0 O’Hara run, as the Hawks clung to a narrow 24-22 lead at halftime.

Then, Turner and the Wolverines (1-1) turned it up a notch.

“I don’t think we had played our best in the first half because our shot selection was not too great, and our patience wasn’t there,” Niagara Falls coach Brent Gadacz said. “They responded in the second half extremely well, they came ready to play.”

It was fittingly a Turner 3-pointer that gave the Wolverines a 28-27 lead early in the third quarter and started an avalanche of a run that turned the game on its head. Turner put up 20 of his 39 points in the stanza, as Falls outscored the Hawks (0-1) 21-3 in the final six minutes to secure a 49-30 advantage heading to the fourth.

Combine Turner’s heroics with a tenacious full court press out of halftime, and it was pure Wolverine domination on both sides of the floor the entirety of the second half.

“My teammates were just finding me and taking good shots. They were going in, and the rim just kept getting bigger,” said Turner, whose 39 points outscored the entire O’Hara team. “Better defense, more talking on defense, and playing as a team [was the difference].”

Coming off one of the best seasons in program history, this thrashing was certainly not how the Hawks envisioned their season starting, as they ended the game being outscored 49-14 in the second half.

“I just don’t think we were mentally ready to play,” O’Hara coach Tony Pulvirenti said. “I felt good at halftime because we didn’t play well and we maintained the lead … I’m not taking this as a loss, I’m taking it as a lesson. We’re hoping to learn, move on, and get better.”

Tyreke Hopkins led all O’Hara scorers with nine points off the bench.

Both sides are back in action on Dec. 13, as the Wolverines face off with Kenmore West in a Niagara Frontier League showdown, while the Hawks take on Amherst.

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