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Oswego East guard Venita Parsons brings the ball up under pressure from East Aurora's Brandi McAlister in the Wolves Holiday Classic Wednesday at Oswego East. Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
Julianna Wadsworth deserves an extra bottle of her favorite energy drink, especially after the junior did it all Thursday helping her Oswego East teammates speed past East Aurora 51-41 at the Oswego East Girls Tournament.
Not only did Wadsworth lead the Wolves in scoring with 18 points, she grabbed key rebounds, found open teammates with crisp passes and triggered a suffocating early Oswego East defense.
“I don’t think she ever came out,” Oswego East coach Abe Carretto said.
Oswego East (7-6) knew it had to put a clamp on East Aurora senior Tyshee Towner if it had any thoughts of winning the Pool D championship. Wadsworth was a big part of doing just that.
“They were (East Aurora) trying to drive to the hoop,” Carretto said. “She’s (Towner) is very good at it. Julianna (Wadsworth) played Towner and she had some nice steals and put the ball in the hoop when she needed to. It was nice to see Julianna do that.”
A horrible start killed the Tomcats. East Aurora had trouble against Oswego East’s pressure defense and one turnover led to another in what became a frustrating three quarters.
“I think what happened was we came out very lackadaisical,” East Aurora coach Bill Anderson said. “They did a nice job in creating the turnovers.”
The key stretch in the game came midway through the second quarter when East Aurora’s 6-1 senior center Desiree Rhodes picked up her third foul and had to come out of the game.
The Wolves took advantage by bolting from a 17-13 lead to a 24-15 cushion at the half, and the Tomcats never were able to get back in the game.
When Rhodes left, the Wolves went inside for three straight baskets during a 7-0 run with Wadsworth scoring off a feed from Sonja Lewis then helping Lewis score twice on layups.
East Aurora (7-8) eventually fell behind by 19 (40-21) after the Wolves went on a 13-1 run that put the game out of reach.
The Tomcats did rally in the fourth quarter, sparked by 11 of Towner’s game-high 22 points, but it was way too little and way too late.
“There were a couple opportunities there and those are the plays we need to make,” Anderson said. “A couple plays here and there and we could have been right in it, but we did not quit.”
The Tomcats play their next game at 4 p.m. Friday while Oswego East plays York at 7 p.m.