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Patterson helps Cardinal O’Hara take another step

MARPLE – When Kerry Patterson was a Cardinal O’Hara freshman, there weren’t any seniors on the girls varsity basketball team.

There have been a number of changes at O’Hara since then. This season, Patterson and Erin Welde are the seniors who will be expected to lead the way as first-year Lions head coach Chrissie Doogan carries the program forward.

She has big shoes to fill following the resignation last spring of Linus McGinty, who spent 24 seasons at the helm after a dozen seasons as the head coach at Archbishop Carroll.

The host Lions carried a 3-3 record into their Friday afternoon game with Episcopal Academy in the Cardinal O’Hara Tournament. Patterson fired up four shots in the opening period, made them all, and O’Hara was on its way to a 56-25 victory.

The Lions will play against Catholic Academies League contender Villa Maria Saturday while Episcopal will be matched up against talented Gloucester Catholic (N.J.).

O’Hara’s tournament is more about building for the league season to come.

“(Doogan) has been coaching here since I got here,” said Patterson, who is committed to play at the University of the Sciences. “Our practices have practically been the same, and the main thing has been concentrating on defense first.

“We know we have to take it game by game. We get in trouble if we start talking about any other game but the next one we’re playing. We know we have to play Villa (Saturday) and they’re big. So we concentrated on boxing out and doing things that will help us to be able to outrebound them.”

Patterson, who finished with 12 points, also helped her team on the boards. She grabbed six first-half missed shots. Freshman Sydni Scott filled up her columns on the stats sheet with 11 points, five steals, four rebounds, three assists, and one blocked shot.

“Everyone has been very welcoming,” sophomore point guard Amaris Baker, a transfer from Baldwin School, said of learning to deal with new teammates and a new coaching staff. “I knew I was taking over for a very good point guard, so I’ve tried to go with my strengths when we’re playing.”

O’Hara limited EA to one point in the second period in building a 15-point halftime advantage.

Olivia Dirks got nine of her 11 points before the break for the Churchwomen. She also paced the visitors with four steals.

“We have four freshmen and four sophomores that we’re using,” Doogan said. “We want them to keep getting better as a defensive team.”

Dirks, the 2018 Daily Times Girls Soccer Player of the Year who is headed to Penn State to play lacrosse, is the one senior on Episcopal coach Chuck Simmonds’ roster, which includes five ninth graders and three sophomores.

“We’re young, and we’re learning,” Simmonds said. “We need to have to focus to make the little plays that will get the results we want. We have to rebound better and get more from our offensive sets.

“(O’Hara) made their shots early and were getting rebounds. They made plays the way we want to be able to make plays.”

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