Cardinal O’Hara girls hoops looks to keep on rolling
Through the first three quarters of the season, the Hawks have been able to overcome the adversity of having one of the smallest rosters in all of Western New York to become one of, if not, the best team in the region.
With just eight players, Cardinal O’Hara is 17-0 overall as of Jan. 29, and with just seven games to go until the regular season wraps up, the Hawks have a real shot of finishing the year unbeaten.
Head Coach Dan McDermott believes that it’s the will-power of his players that has them continually playing head-and-shoulders better than their opponents.
“They want to do well,” he said. “They want to do well for each other, and are together in everything we do. They’re all just big character kids.”
Senior captain, and all-time leading scorer, Leah McDonell attributes the team’s success to continuity.
“We’ve all been together now for three years,” she said. “Some of us even play together over the summer, so that’s even better. We literally see each other every day almost; playing together all the time.”
The Lady Hawks fully expect to win every time they step on the court. In fact, players and coaches alike will tell you that the only way they don’t succeed is if they beat themselves.
“The only thing that can hurt us is us being our own worst enemy, more so than any team that we play,” McDermott said. “I don’t see that ever happening because they’re a great group of kids.”
Senior forward Sara Dipasquale said that the team as a whole just has to continue with their foot on the gas pedal, along with staying focused, which has helped them all season long.
“We have to be a team that can finish every game,” she said. “We can get up, but we have to stay up and keep that lead, so we have to keep our heads in it. Not just the athletics part, but we’ve got to have the basketball smarts.”
McDonell said that while players know what they are capable of on the court, they’re continued success starts with a frame of mind of being ready to play hard every night.
“We know what we can accomplish this year,” she said. “It’s just getting to that point is what we really need to focus on.”