During its run in the PIAA Class 5A tournament, Cardinal O’Hara has leaned on its bench players to give the team big minutes in must-win games.
Greta Miller had her chance to start in Wednesday’s 38-22 victory over Springfield. She was in a starting five with the Lions’ big four: seniors Maggie Doogan, Sydni Scott and Annie Welde, and freshman sensation Molly Rullo.
“I was a little nervous, but I’ve been playing with them all season, so the nerves definitely calmed down and I’ve gotten a lot more confident,” said Miller, a sophomore guard who will be with the Lions when they take on Mechanicsburg in a Class 5A state semifinal Saturday at 1 at Governor Mifflin Intermediate School. “And it’s been easier playing with them and getting into a fast pace with them.”
Miller failed to score Wednesday but provided solid defense, rebounding and passing. Fellow sophomore guards Joanie Quinn and Carly Coleman are seeing more action on the floor in the state tourney as well. This was necessitated after O’Hara required someone to take the place of junior Bridget Dawson, ineligible for the remainder of the season.
Whether it’s Miller, Quinn or Coleman, they are fitting in with a quartet of starters. Doogan, Scott and Welde were once wide-eyed freshmen playing crucial roles on a young and rebuilding 2018-19 O’Hara squad, so they understand what it’s like to learn on the fly at a critical time.
“Obviously it can be very intimidating,” Welde said. “But we’ve all been there before and it helps us to stay patient and teach them because they’re not just going to pick everything up overnight. So I think they’ve definitely all gained a lot of confidence and that will help them going forward. They’ve learned their role and what they are out there to do and they have grown into it.”
Miller knows that learning the ropes from leaders such as Welde will pay dividends in the future.
“It’s a total honor to play with them,” Miller said. “They’re all going Division I and … not everyone gets the chance to play with great players. It’s helping me (learn) how to play the game better, how to execute things, and I love playing with them.”