Weekly Feature



2014-02-05 / Front Page

Jontay Walton becomes Monsignor Martin career leading scorer at former gym

by BRANDON KILIJANSKI
Reporter


Jontay Walton scores to become the girls all time leading scorer in Monsignor Martin history with 1,778 points. She managed to accomplish the feat in the gym of her former school — Holy Angels Academy — against Nardin Academy on Thursday in a 64-41 win. 
Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Jontay Walton scores to become the girls all time leading scorer in Monsignor Martin history with 1,778 points. She managed to accomplish the feat in the gym of her former school — Holy Angels Academy — against Nardin Academy on Thursday in a 64-41 win. Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Cardinal O’Hara head coach Dan McDermott summed it up the best when he said, “it was almost like fate put us in her old gym.”

Jontay Walton — who played her first three years at Holy Angels Academy — scored on a running teardrop with 4:21 remaining in the first quarter against Nardin Academy to become the girls all time leading scorer in Monsignor Martin League history.

Like a twist of fate, the record breaking shot was accomplished at the Holy Angels gym, where it feels more like home to her.

“It felt great, especially in my home gym,” said Walton. “It was a bitter sweet moment to share it with my coaches and teammates. This is where it all started and it is very special for me.”


Senior Keyonte Edwards handles the ball past a Nardin defender during the rescheduled game on Thursday. The Lady Hawks won 64-41, and Edwards finished with a game high 16 points. 
Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Senior Keyonte Edwards handles the ball past a Nardin defender during the rescheduled game on Thursday. The Lady Hawks won 64-41, and Edwards finished with a game high 16 points. Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Originally, O’Hara was scheduled to play against Nardin at Holy Angels on Thursday, but it was cancelled due to the weather.

Walton said she was nervous because their next scheduled game was on Saturday in Rochester against Gates-Chili — but luckily Nardin was able to play the following day — keeping the record celebration at home.

“It was almost like fate put us in her old gym, with the way the schedule worked out, and her points throughout the season, worked out that it would happen this way,” said McDermott.

Walton missed her first two attempts to break the record on long jump shots, and then she rattled a three pointer in and out of the net. Her fourth attempt came on an outlet pass in a fast break for a layup, which she missed.

But then halfway through the first quarter — after getting a screen at the top of the key — Walton went left and cut to the rim where her running teardrop hit the front iron and bounced in, giving her 1,778 career points to pass Raeann Stilwell.

The entire O’Hara bench rushed the court and congratulated her, while everybody in the stands stood for an ovation. Walton received the game ball and took a photo at center court with her parents.

“There was some anxiety after missing the first couple of shots,” said Walton. “But I kept playing my own game, and it was going to happen when it was going to happen.”

As a whole, O’Hara was struggling shooting the ball and only held a 13-9 lead after the first quarter.

The second quarter was really gritty as both teams were playing aggressive defense and hustling all over the floor.

Nardin tied the game at 15-15 with 6:22 left in the second quarter, and O’Hara was getting a lot of reach in fouls called against them.

But with 3:30 left before halftime, Keyonte Edwards scored four quick points — including a steal for an easy layup — to put the Lady Hawks up 23-15.

With one minute remaining in the quarter, Nardin cashed in an and-one opportunity to cut the lead to 29-25, but O’Hara made one last basket to take a 31-25 lead into halftime.

“Everyone was excited about Jontay’s situation in her old gym, and it seemed like the first half everything was kind of all over the place,” said McDermott. “There was not a lot of structure with the way things usually go for us.”

In the second half, O’Hara came out strong scoring four quick points and playing a swarming defense on the ball.

Their offense became based around Kelsey McCarthy in the low post, who just towered over the entire Nardin lineup. She was getting double and triple teamed, but still managed to score 14 points in the game.

“That’s what we need from Kelsey,” said McDermott. “She can be a dominant post player, and there isn’t another post player in Western New York I’d rather have than her. She constantly faces double and triple teams and fights through it.”

O’Hara really buckled down on defense in the third quarter, only allowing Nardin to score seven points.

In the fourth quarter — with a full new lineup on the court — the Lady Hawks pushed the lead to 60-34 with four minutes left in the game.

Their athleticism proved to be too much for Nardin, and O’Hara ended up winning 64-41.

Walton finished the game with 13 points, Edwards scored 16 Jailyn Dickson added seven points.

email: brandonk@beenews.com

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