Anna O’Neill hits the winner as the Panthers knock off Duxbury, 44-42.
It was a moment in the making.
Anna O’Neill’s name has not been called on much this season. In fact, she didn’t play at all in the two victories posted by the Whitman-Hanson Regional High girls’ basketball team at the Hoosac Valley Tournament.
But O’Neill got her opportunity Friday, and she made the most of it.
With 1:32 remaining, the senior guard rose up and drained a 3-pointer from the left side of the arc to send the Panthers past Patriot League Keenan Division rival Duxbury and to their fifth straight win.
“I knew she was going to get hot for us and she came up clutch for us,” said W-H head coach Jenna Olem.
Said O’Neil: “Coach kept telling me to work and work at practice and she gave me a shot and I hit it. It’s really exciting.”
After a pair of Dragons misses from the charity stripe, senior Meg Henaghan sealed the win with an offensive rebound.
— Nate Rollins (@n_rollins1) January 5, 2019
W-H (5-2) trailed by as much as eight in the second quarter but cut its deficit to 25-23 at the half behind the scrappy play of junior Brittany Gacicia (eight points in first half).
“We knew it was going to be intense,” said W-H head coach Jenna Olem. “We got off to a slow start but they played really hard and there was just a lot of hustle plays at the end to keep us alive.”
The Panthers gained a 33-31 edge heading into the fourth on a late 3-pointer by senior captain Kathryn Dunn.
The Dragons (3-4) received a double-double from senior Sam Brennan (10 points, 14 rebounds) and 21 points from senior Teagan Curran.
Olem noted she was impressed by the play of senior Leah Badger and junior Hannah Damon.
The Panthers host Pembroke Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
“They’re finally finding what their strengths are and understanding what their roles are,” said Olem.