Of all the places Keyonte Edwards had hoped this basketball season would take her, Women’s and Children’s Hospital was not one of them.
Yet there she was the day after she and her Cardinal O’Hara teammates beat Good Counsel outside of New York City to win the Catholic High School Class B title.
Edwards’ right arm bothered her during the first half of the March 15 contest. There was no awkward collision or hard fall to explain the discomfort, but her arm still felt tight. Edwards is not a complainer, but she did the right thing and told someone. Her coach sought out the on-site trainer, who iced it during halftime and she played the second half.
The long bus right home was especially difficult as her hand began to swell. Once she got home, a trip to the hospital and subsequent tests confirmed she had a blood clot in the shoulder area.
“She recognized something wasn’t right,” said coach Dan McDermott. “Key is certainly not a whiner so for her to say something was bothering her made us take that pretty seriously.”
At the hospital she began receiving blood thinners. With her treatment on track, the next question is would she be ready to play in the Hawks’ next game?
Cardinal O’Hara (27-1) will play Scholars’ Academy at the Times Union Center in Albany on Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Class B semifinals of the Federation tournament.
The two-week break between games weighed heavily in her favor, but as of Thursday night no one knew what her availability would be.
McDermott said he is preparing for the worst and thought the chances she’d be cleared in time to play were slim. “It’s still very much up in the air if she’ll play. I would say very questionable,” he said.
McDermott said Edwards’ parents, as well as the school, were apprehensive about the possible health risk to have her play one or two more games.
Edwards’ loss would be a huge blow not only because they carried just eight players on their roster during the regular season, but the 5-foot-9 junior leads them in nearly every offensive category.
On a team that’s big on sharing the ball, she averages 15 points, 4.2 assists and 4.0 steals. On defense she guards the other team’s best offensive player while grabbing 7.7 rebounds.
While waiting to play the team has been practicing three times a week for approximately 90 minutes just to keep its shooting touch. Edwards has been at every practice , but has just been shooting on the side.
Without Edwards, Cardinal O’Hara is likely to start senior Kayla Brown, junior Kelsey McCarthy, senior Sara DiPasquale, junior Leah McDonell and either Jailyn Dickson or Aisha Shabazz.
McDonell averages 13.9 ppg. and has 1,586 points in her career. Against Good Counsel she netted 27 points, including five three-pointers. At 6-foot-1, McCarthy averages nearly a double-double (12 ppg., 9.3 rpg) and moves well for her size.
Scholars’ Academy (28-0) has won the PSAL’s Class B title the past three years.
Its community of Rockaway Park in Queens suffered significant losses during Hurricane Sandy in October. Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. The team has used its plight as a battle cry of sorts, not wanting to suffer any further losses.
Cardinal O’Hara will leave its Tonawanda campus this morning. Upon arrival and check-in, it will have a shoot-around at one of the local area schools.
If it wins, it will play Irvington of Section I (23-2), the team which ended their season last year in the Fed Tournament.