O’Hara comes up short in loss to Wood

The Cardinal O’Hara girls basketball team cooled off after a fiery start and dropped a 50-43 decision to Archbishop Wood in a battle of two Catholic League and PIAA title contenders Sunday.

Freshman shooters Molly Paolino and Kenzie Gardler had the hot hands early as O’Hara jumped to a 12-4 advantage in the first quarter. At the end of eight minutes, the Lions (17-3) had shot a crisp 8-of-11 from the floor. Paolino and Gardler each drilled a pair of 3-pointers in the first two quarters.

The Lions faltered in the final three periods as the Wood power tandem of Kate Connolly (15 points) and Drexel-bound forward Aubree Brown (14 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks) began to take control. Connolly heated up from beyond the 3-point arc and O’Hara started to misfire from long distance and couldn’t produce points inside the paint sans for 5-10 sophomore Mary Sheehan, who had eight points and 10 hard-fought rebounds. O’Hara lost the battle on the boards, 25-18.

Hannah Nihill had a strong game running the point, finishing with 12 points, three assists and three steals. Nihill had a couple of clean shots go in and out of the basket in the fourth quarter as the Lions tried to crawl back after falling down by six points at the end of three periods. Gardler added 10 points, Paolino netted nine and and Maura Hendrixson had four points, four rebounds, four assists and one steal.

The game was important in terms of seeding in the Catholic League playoffs, which begin next week. O’Hara fell out of second place with the loss with Alyssa Monaghan and Bonner-Prendergast waiting Wednesday night in the teams’ regular-season finale.

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