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Sheehan, Gardler help O’Hara stay perfect

MARPLE >> Cardinal O’Hara junior Mary Sheehan missed her entire summer hoops season with the AAU Comets due to a shoulder injury.

Though it’s hard to tell, the All-Delco has been playing catch-up ever since.

“I didn’t get cleared until September, and that was tough because I knew I had to get stronger for the high school season,” Sheehan said after the Lions’ 48-34 win over Episcopal Academy Monday afternoon at the Cardinal O’Hara Christmas Invitational. “Once I was cleared, I jumped into it and focused hard. It took a few weeks to get my shot back and put on strength. It was a ligament tear in my shoulder.”

Sheehan is feeling pretty good today.

“I think I’m finally starting to get back into it now,” she said.

Sheehan scored 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting, grabbed four rebounds and made four steals as the No. 1 team in

O'Hara sophomore guard -- and recent Villanova commit -- Kenzie Gardler hit her first three shots from the floor in Monday's win over Episcopal. (ROBERT J. GURECKI - DAILY TIMES)

O’Hara sophomore guard — and recent Villanova commit — Kenzie Gardler hit her first three shots from the floor Monday, including one pictured here, over the long arm of Episcopal Academy power forward Elodie Furey.
(ROBERT J. GURECKI – DAILY TIMES)

Delaware County improved to 5-0.

O’Hara sophomore guard Kenzie Gardler recently announced on Twitter her verbal commitment to Villanova in 2018.

Gardler has strong ties to Saint Joseph’s, but her heart was set on ‘Nova Nation. Her mother Katie is a St. Joe’s Athletics, SJU Women’s Basketball and Big 5 Hall of Fame inductee. Her father Chris also played on Hawk Hill.

“Of course I have other family members that wanted me to go to St. Joe’s and see me play there,” she said. “I really felt comfortable at Villanova and I wanted do something that was different than my parents did, and I wanted to be close to home.”

Gardler, who intends to major in nursing, scored nine points on 4-of-8 shooting in Monday’s victory. She hit her first three field-goal attempts in a closely contested first quarter that ended in a 13-13 tie.

The Lions dominated the rest of the way. Gardler and Maura Hendrixson (eight points, five assists, two steals) drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to spark a 15-2 run in the second quarter. O’Hara enjoyed a 28-18 advantage at halftime.

“Our games have been really spread out so far, so it’s been hard to really get into a flow,” Gardler said. “Once the season the picks up, I think we’ll be good. I think we did pretty well today because we really worked together as a team.”

O'Hara All-Delco Hannah Nihill, left, gives up several inches in a frantic attempt at a rebound over Episcopal's Lily Kuntz. (ROBERT J. GURECKI - DAILY TIMES)

O’Hara All-Delco Hannah Nihill, left, gives up several inches in a frantic attempt at a rebound over Episcopal’s Lily Kuntz.
(ROBERT J. GURECKI – DAILY TIMES)

Episcopal got a boost from senior guard/forward Lily Kuntz, who was 6 of 8 from the floor with a game-high 16 points, but the Churchwomen (3-3) dropped their third straight decision against a formidable foe.

“It’s good to see her play well; she’s constantly working,” Episcopal coach Chuck Simmonds said of Kuntz, who will play at Middlebury (Vt.) next year. “She’s good at knocking down those shots. It’s a good option to have on the perimeter sometimes. She can play inside and has (the shot) to play outside.”

Seanna McNamara added seven points and Elodie Furey registered six points and six rebounds for EA. O’Hara All-Delco guard Hannah Nihill finished with nine points and three assists.

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