By Keith McShea
Cardinal O'Hara played inspired basketball without one of its best players.
Now they get to do it again tomorrow.
Playing without standout junior Keyonte Edwards, the Cardinal O'Hara girls basketball team dug out of an early hole and went on to a 66-54 victory over Scholars Academy in the state Federation Tournament of Champions Class B semifinals at the Times Union Center.
Edwards did not make the trip due to a blood clot in her right shoulder. The 5-foot-9 junior averages 15 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 4.0 steals.
Senior Leah McDonell and junior Kelsey McCarthy each had 18 points as O'Hara (28-1) advanced to Sunday's 1 p.m. state Federation championship game against public school champion Irvington (23-2).
O'Hara fell behind, 11-4, to start the game, but closed the first quarter with a 10-2 run, capped by a McDonell three in the final minute, to take a 14-13 lead. The Hawks used its quickness -- namely from 5-4 senior Kayla Brown (five steals) and the 5-5 McDonell (four) to consistently cause turnovers and hurry up Scholars' shots (20 of 50 for 40 percent).
The teams exchanged the lead in the second quarter before O'Hara used a 10-0 run to go up, 28-21. Scholars cut the lead to 28-25, but O'Hara closed the half with three straight baskets in what would be a 6-1 spurt resulting in a 34-26 halftime lead.
In the third, Brown added a three that pushed the Hawks lead to nine (41-32) and O'Hara would head to the fourth with a 47-36 advantage. Scholars surged back with a 13-6 run to come within 53-49 with 3:33 to go, but McDonell hit two free throws to push the O'Hara lead to six. Scholars junior Jessica Glaz (team-high 18 points, 10 rebounds) scored to make it a four-point game again (55-51), but she fouled out seconds later, with 3:09 left.
O'Hara closed the game with a 15-3 run that started with two Dickson free throws and a three by Brown that put the Hawks up, 60-51, with less than two minutes to play.
McDonell had 18 points on 5-of-15 shooting, including 3 of 7 from three-point range and 5 of 6 at the free throw line. McCarthy, the 6-1 forward, got her 18 on 7-of-15 shooting and she had six rebounds while fellow front-courter, 6-foot senior Sara DiPasquale, had five points, 10 rebounds and two steals. Aisha Shabazz, a 5-6 junior, had nine points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two steals. Brown had eight points, as did 5-8 junior Jailyn Dickson (five rebounds, three steals).
In the live chat below, Edwards said she would be on hand Sunday to support her teammates.
Look for more on O'Hara's win in the Sunday paper.
We'll be back tomorrow for another live blog and postgame PrepTalkTV video.
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Here's the live blog post from earlier:Hello from the last stop of the winter season: basketball's Federation Tournament of Champions at Albany's Times Union Center.
The Federation is a BIG deal -- it's the overall basketball championships for the entire state: public, private, independent, New York City. It accounts for all schools.
I'll provide play-by-play updates in the live blog below and I'll have periodic #preptalkscores updates via Twitter which will also appear in the blog.
Your tweets with the hashtag #preptalkscores are welcome -- they will appear in the live blog as well.
Check our scoreboard page for a complete day-by-day high school schedule. It will be updated with a box score from this game as soon as we have it.
Keep checking back here on the blog as well as our video page for PrepTalkTV videos of high school action. The video page has an archive of many recent videos, including several from the last few days.
taggedBasketball | Cardinal O'Hara