Philadelphia High School Basketball

O'Hara's Linusty!!

A Look at the Dynasty Created by Linus McGinty In 24 Seasons
As the Coach of Cardinal O'Hara's Girls Basketball Team

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O'Hara's 2018 Catholic League Champs

Linus McGinty

Title Teams: Final/Score/Record
1995 Starters
Carroll Kristen Clement
51-38 Tricia Halpin
(23-5) Lauren Menichini
  Jodi Jancosko
  Kelly Halpin
  Key Subs
  Brandi Batch
  Jackie Pierangeli
  Meg Crawford
1996 Starters
Carroll Kristen Clement
76-58 Tricia Halpin
(27-1) Kelly Halpin
  Brandi Batch
  Lauren Menichini
  Key Subs
  Jackie Pierangeli
  Meg Crawford
1997 Starters
McDevitt Kristen Clement
68-35 Brandi Batch
(27-1) Trish Juhline
  Kate Cullen
  Claire Cavanaugh
  Key Subs
  Bridget Scanlan
  Erin Crawford
1999 Starters
Carroll Trish Juhline
71-62 Bridget Scanlan
(24-4) Karyn Connors
  Amy Dessart Mager
  Kara Cassidy
  Key Subs
  Jen Kozlowski
  Maggie Griesser
2002 Starters
Prendergast Kate Dessart Mager
39-20 Maggie Griesser
(26-2) Catherine Scanlon
  Nicole Mechell
  Christine Burbidge
  Key Subs
  Kristina Gineitis
  Lisa Claxton
2005 Starters
Carroll Lisa Claxton
47-39 Heather Scanlon
(26-2) Meghan Gardler
  Kim Benton
  Amy Gillespie
  Key Subs
  Cathy Caramanico
  Megan Conley

continued on other side of page

Linus McGinty
Celebration Page

  In May 2018, Linus McGinty announced his retirement after 24 seasons as the girls basketball coach at Cardinal O'Hara. With the Lions he won 11 Catholic League championships and posted an overall record of 557-113. Throughout Linus' run,
Chris Genther was his chief assistant . . . Linus previously coached for 12 seasons at Archbishop Carroll and earned 824 combined wins.
  This story was written after O'Hara, led by All-American Kristen "Ace" Clement, won its third consecutive CL title in 1997. The '96 and '97 champs posted matching overall records of 27-1.

By Ted Silary, Philadelphia Daily News

  Kristen ``Ace'' Clement did not do everything for Cardinal O'Hara High's girls' basketball powerhouse yesterday.
  She did more than anyone else, though.
  That much was evident on the court. It was evident again when the Lions were above the court, attacking the net from a ladder.
  Clement 's teammates did minor snipping. So, when they called her away from a TV interview and handed her the scissors, six loops of the net were still attached to the basket.
  Not for long. Snip, snip, snip, snip . . . 12 snips in all. Time for another nylon necklace.
  Clement , a 5-11 senior point guard bound for Tennessee, is considered by some experts to be the No. 1 female scholastic player in the nation. With a sellout Palestra crowd of 8,100 oohing and aahing and just plain ogling, she generated 27 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals as O'Hara defeated Bishop McDevitt, 68-35, to win its third consecutive Catholic League championship.
  After she talked to reporters, cut down the net and hoisted the title plaque, Clement became a pied piper.
  About 40 youngsters surrounded her, then followed her to the southeast locker room. While standing outside, some talked excitedly about what would be cooler, getting Clement 's autograph on a hat or T-shirt. Others nixed that idea and begged reporters to give them notepad sheets.
  "C'mon, you can spare it.''
  Soon, the kids still outside began pushing and the few kids just inside got squashed against a metal partition. Right after that, all the kids were waved into the room. And there they stood, chirping away, as Clement sat in a folding chair and answered reporters' questions.
  When asked about the upcoming autograph session, Clement smiled and said, "Hey, if it takes two or three hours, I'll still be here."
  Long ago, Clement realized she would spend her time at O'Hara being more than a basketball player and student. She would also be a goodwill ambassador.
  She came to love that all eyes were on her, largely because she had unwavering faith in her ability to not only handle the pressure, but feed off it and thrive and earn respect, even love.
  As the 1 p.m. tipoff time approached, the crowd swelled and swelled and swelled.
  "There's an overwhelming awareness of women's basketball now,'' Clement said. "My coaches say, `That's because of you.' If I'm just a part of it, that makes me feel good."
  Clement spent most of the first half creating her own shots. Undoubtedly owing to nerves, she was rushing slightly and not seeing the floor as well as she normally does. She launched 16 shots, making half (with three three-pointers) for 19 points. O'Hara was ahead, 28-20, but McDevitt was twitching.
  In the third quarter, Clement again mostly fired. But she was cold (0-for-7) and a few of her misses were bona fide bricks.
  continued below . . . 

1995: 23-5
1996: 27-1
1997: 27-1
1999: 24-4
2002: 26-2
2005: 26-2
2006: 25-3
2008: 25-2
2013: 24-6
2017: 25-4
2018: 21-5

(Coached by Linus at O'Hara;
All or Part of Career)
  Pts Yr.
Kristen Clement 2,256 1997
Kate Dessart Mager 1,405 2002
Steph Holzer 1,313 2009
Mary Sheehan 1,255 2017
Hannah Nihill 1,154 2017
Kenzie Gardler 1,128 2018
Heather Scanlon 1,123 2006
Trish Juhline 1,106 1999
Shanice Johnson 1,105 2013
Brandi Batch 1,022 1997

Title Teams: Final/Score/Record
2006 Starters
Neum.-Gor. Heather Scanlon
45-41 Meghan Gardler
(25-3) Kim Benton
  Cathy Caramanico
  Alysha Womack
  Key Subs
  Genna Micek
  Michele DuBois
  Lisa Clark
2008 *Starters
Carroll Missy Downey
48-45 Steph Holzer
(25-2) Alicia Manning
*6 rotated Danielle Callahan
all season Natasha Cloud
  Alysha Womack
  Key Sub
  Jen Johnson
2013 Starters
Wood Mia Farmer
31-25 Rachel Guy
(24-6) Shanice Johnson
  Libby Lannon
  Mackenzie Rule
  Key Subs
  Christina Manning
  Stephanie Garafolo
  Lisa Mintzer
2017 Starters
Wood Mary Sheehan
35-30 Maura Hendrixson
(25-4) Molly Paolino
  Hannah Nihill
  Kenzie Gardler
  Key Subs
  Lauren Leicht
  Bridgette Hoy
  Kristen Denoncour
2018 Starters
Neum.-Gor. Kenzie Gardler
54-39 Maura Hendrixson
(21-5) Molly Paolino
  Kerry Patterson
  Stephanie Huseby
  Key Subs
  Megan Ricker
  Erin Welde
  Emily Helms
  Jasmin Miller
  Siobhan Boylan

  Ah, but coach Linus McGinty 's Lions are not a one-gal show. Center Brandi Batch is also a Division I signee (West Virginia).
After a scoreless first half in which she attempted just two shots from the floor, Batch scored 10 second-half points while
raising her other statistics to 12 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals.
  Trish Juhline (nine points, seven rebounds) and Kate Cullen (eight, seven) also made big plays.
  Finishing with a flourish, Clement made her final three shots - a two and two threes - before departing with 2:07 remaining.
  Instead of heading directly for O'Hara's bench, Clement trotted over to greet McDevitt coach Tom Lonergan and then hugged
franchise point guard Jen Zenszer, a La Salle signee who had 16 points and 11 rebounds.
  "I told her she played her heart out, and to keep her head up,'' Clement said.
  O'Hara finished 27-1 with the lone loss coming against Archbishop Carroll. Clement scored 782 points (27.9) and finished her
career with 2,256. O'Hara's record during that span was 95-17 -- 54-2 over the last two seasons.
  McGinty's take is that the Catholic League won't see the likes of Clement for 15 or 20 years: "She's once in a generation."
  She's also leaving the area. Clement said she and her mother will be moving to a town maybe an hour from Tennessee's
  "But my sister, Michelle Billingsly, lives in Media,'' Clement said. "So, I'll be back from time to time. Hopefully, I'll be able to
keep in touch with all the girls. We've had an unbelievable bond, both on and off the court.''

  Below are recaps for Cardinal O'Hara's 11 wins in Catholic League championship games during Linus McGinty's 24 seasons as the coach . . .

At the Palestra
  O'Hara 51, Carroll 38:
Expecting not to play due to the flu, Brandi Batch agreed to give it a whirl three minutes into the game and finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Kristen "Ace" Clement notched seven of her 19 points near the end of the third quarter after Carroll, previously coached by first-year O'Hara boss Linus McGinty, moved within one point. Carroll did not notch a field goal in the fourth stanza until 0:32 remained.
At the Palestra
  O'Hara 76, Carroll 58:
Slowed by an early ankle injury, junior Kristen "Ace" Clement still finished with 27 points (highlight: 13 straight free throws) and raised her career total to a school-record 1,474. Brandi Batch hit for 15 points while the Halpin twins, Tricia and Kelly, combined for 25 points and 17 rebounds.
At the Palestra
  O'Hara 68, McDevitt 35:
Kristen "Ace" Clement collected 27 points, six rebounds, two apiece of assists/steals . . . and snipped the final six loops of the net. She made her final three shots, a two and two threes, while finalizing her career point total at 2,256. The Lions went 54-2 in her last two seasons and 95-17 in all four. Brandi Batch (12 rebounds) saved all 10 of her points for the second half. Trish Juhline (nine points) and Kate Cullen (eight) halved 14 boards.
At Temple University
  O'Hara 71, Carroll 62:
Karyn Connors performed a miracle before the game -- she amazed the crowd by playing the Star-Spangled Banner on her saxophone -- and then shot 5-for-8 from the floor and line while scoring 15 points. Trish Juhline added 21 points and eight rebounds while Amy Dessart Mager managed 15-seven in those same categories.
At Saint Joseph's University
  O'Hara 39, Prendergast 20:
The Lions rolled to a 9-1 advantage in the first quarter and coasted from there. Kate Dessart Mager snatched 13 rebounds and shot 8-for-13 en route to 16 points while sub Lisa Claxton (her brother, Speedy, played that season for the 76ers) had 11 points and four assists/steals. Point guard Christine Burbidge also dished four dimes . . . and attempted no shots. This game featured clashing Scanlon twins: Catherine for O'Hara, Christen for Prendie. They scored two points apiece.
At Saint Joseph's University
  O'Hara 47, Carroll 39:
The Lions stormed back from a 29-16 halftime deficit to rock the team that had bested it twice during the regular season . . . and in the last two finals. Heather Scanlon contributed 14 points and seven rebounds while Lisa Claxton's 11-point outing featured 9-for-10 marksmanship at the line.
At Saint Joseph's University
  O'Hara 45, Neumann-Goretti 41 (OT):
Meghan Gardler was a whirlwind with nine points, eight rebounds, seven blocks and three apiece of assists/steals. The Lions won the second quarter, 15-2, and regulation ended at 40-40. Heather Scanlon also made significant contributions (15 points, eight boards).
At the Palestra
  O'Hara 48, Carroll 45:
The win was preserved when Natasha Cloud blocked a desperation trey near midcourt. Carroll had bounced back after recording no field goals in the first nine minutes. Steph Holzer stood tall with 14 points and 17 rebounds while Alysha Womack had 13 points.
At the Palestra
  O'Hara 31, Wood 25:
The Lions scored the first seven points and never trailed. Rachel Guy went 8-for-10 at the line and hit two clinchers with 5.6 seconds remaining. The win was dedicated to the memory of George Rule. He passed away nine days earlier and his daughter, Mackenzie, was the point guards. "No one fights alone" was printed on purple T-shirts.
At the Palestra
  O'Hara 35, Wood 30:
Sub Lauren Leicht hit a field goal with 2:50 left to put the Lions ahead for good at 29-27. Hannah Nihill finished with 13 points. Wood was able to regroup after Kenzie Gardler drilled a trey off a feed from Mary Sheehan to make it 18-11.
At the Palestra
  O'Hara 54, Neumann-Goretti 39:
The Lions were losing, 30-21, with three-plus minutes left in the third quarter. No sweat. They stormed to 33 of the final 42 points thanks in large part to Maura Hendrixson, who scored 17 of her 26 points in the second half. Kenzie Gardler offered 17 points and eight rebounds while Molly Paolino hustled for four steals.

  Below are the players who earned first team or second team honors on the Coaches' All-Catholic squads during
Linus McGinty's 24 seasons as the coach of Cardinal O'Hara's girls basketball team.
  * indicates MVP.
  Note: Third teams were not always published. Only two teams were picked in some years.
  Thanks to Adam Buchter, athletic director at Little Flower and the moderator for CL girls hoops, for providing
non-published teams.
Cardinal O'Hara's 1st/2nd Team All-Catholic Honorees for Linus McGinty, 1995 to 2018 Seasons
1995 *Kristen "Ace" Clement 1st 2002 *Kate Dessart Mager 1st 2009 *Steph Holzer 1st
  Tricia Halpin 1st   Maggie Griesser 1st   Natasha Cloud 1st
  Brandi Batch 2nd   Nicole Mechell 2nd   Alysha Womack 1st
1996 *Kristen "Ace" Clement 1st   Lisa Claxton 2nd   Alicia Manning 2nd
  Tricia Halpin 1st 2003 *Kristina Gineitis 1st   Danielle Callahan 2nd
  Brandi Batch 2nd   Lisa Claxton 2nd 2010 Natasha Cloud 1st
  Kelly Halpin 2nd   Heather Scanlon 2nd 2011 Shanice Johnson 2nd
1997 *Kristen "Ace" Clement 1st 2004 Heather Scanlon 1st   Marissa Manning 2nd
  Brandi Batch 1st   Lisa Claxton 2nd   Lia DiSciascio 2nd
  Trish Juhline 2nd   Dominique Kidd 2nd 2012 Shanice Johnson 1st
1998 Trish Juhline 1st 2005 Heather Scanlon 1st   Alyssa Monaghan 1st
  Amy Dessart Mager 2nd   Amy Gillespie 1st 2013 Shanice Johnson 1st
  Erin Crawford 2nd   Meghan Gardler 2nd   Mia Farmer 2nd
1999 Trish Juhline 1st 2006 *Meghan Gardler 1st 2014 *Mia Farmer 1st
  Amy Dessart Mager 2nd   Heather Scanlon 1st 2015 Mary Sheehan 1st
  Bridgette Scanlan 2nd   Kim Benton 1st   Hannah Nihill 2nd
  Karyn Connors 2nd 2007 Steph Holzer 1st 2016 Hannah Nihill 1st
2000 Kate Dessart Mager 2nd   Alysha Womack 2nd   Mary Sheehan 1st
  Catherine Scanlon 2nd 2008 *Steph Holzer 1st   Kenzie Gardler 2nd
  Jen Kozlowski 2nd   Alysha Womack 1st 2017 Hannah Nihill 1st
2001 Kate Dessart Mager 1st   Alicia Manning 2nd   Mary Sheehan 1st
  Maggie Griesser 1st   Melissa Downey 2nd   Kenzie Gardler 1st
  Catherine Scanlon 2nd   Natasha Cloud 2nd   Maura Hendrixson 2nd
            2018 Kenzie Gardler 1st
              Maura Hendrixson 1st


  Below are the players who helped Linus McGinty accumulate 557 wins in 24 seasons as the coach of Cardinal
O'Hara's girls basketball team.
  Year indicates the player's final season. Most were seniors. Some transferred and some were underclassmen
who did not play in the following season.
Cardinal O'Hara's Varsity Players for Linus McGinty, 1995 to 2018 Seasons
Jodi Jancosko 1995 Andrea Boyle 2004 Carly Hazinsky 2011
Nicole Carbo 1995 Beth Dessart Mager 2004 Lia DiSciascio 2011
Jackie Pierangeli 1996 Dominique Kidd 2004 Marikate Gardler 2011
Kelly Halpin 1996 Hillary Jacobs 2004 Marissa Manning 2011
Lauren Menichini 1996 Irene Pastorino 2004 Nicole Daly 2011
Meg Crawford 1996 Katie McKeon 2004 Alexandra Stam 2012
Melanie Weindel 1996 Kelly Wellman 2004 Alyssa Monaghan 2012
Tricia Halpin 1996 Kolleen Cassidy 2004 Emily McPeak 2012
Brandi Batch 1997 Lisa Claxton 2005 Maureen Leahy 2012
Claire Cavanaugh 1997 Megan Conley 2005 Sarah Monaghan 2012
Kate Cullen 1997 Amy Gillespie 2006 Libby Lannon 2013
Kristen "Ace" Clement 1997 Ashley Murphy 2006 Lisa Mintzer 2013
Dawn Joyce 1998 Cathy Caramanico 2006 Mackenzie Rule 2013
Erin Crawford 1998 Genna Micek 2006 Shanice Johnson 2013
Lauren Keller 1998 Heather Scanlon 2006 Christina Manning 2014
Amy Dessart Mager 1999 Kim Benton 2006 Katie Feehery 2014
Bridget Scanlon 1999 Meghan Gardler 2006 Kim Whelan 2014
Kara Cassidy 1999 Amanda Guy 2007 Kristen Stam 2014
Karyn Connors 1999 Brianna Duffin 2007 Mia Farmer 2014
Katie Kempton 1999 Lisa Clark 2007 Rachel Guy 2014
Trish Juhline 1999 Michelle Dubois 2007 Samantha Amicone 2014
Jen Kozlowski 2000 Brianna Phillips 2008 Stephanie Garafolo 2014
Karen Falzone 2000 Kamille Henderson 2008 Maeve Heneghan 2015
Katie Smyth 2000 Kelly Brown 2008 Gab Napoleon 2016
Kelly Olinger 2000 Melissa Downey 2008 Lauren Leicht 2016
Melissa Stortini 2000 Alicia Manning 2009 Bridgette Hoy 2017
Candace Ober 2001 Alysha Womack 2009 Hannah Nihill 2017
Catherine Scanlon 2002 Amanda Mattera 2009 Kristen Denoncour 2017
Christine Burbidge 2002 Danielle Callahan 2009 Mary Sheehan 2017
Kate Dessart Mager 2002 Jen Johnson 2009 Delanie Rennie 2018
Kelly Donaldson 2002 Steph Holzer 2009 Emily Helms 2018
Maggie Griesser 2002 Gina McLaughlin 2010 Erin Welde 2018
Nicole Mechell 2002 Kelly Arnold 2010 Jasmin Miller 2018
Sarah Milewski 2002 Kelsey Verica 2010 Katie Shallow 2018
Tricia Donaldson 2002 Lauren Kilday 2010 Kenzie Gardler 2018
Alisa Siderio 2003 Maureen Lannon 2010 Kerry Patterson 2018
Carrie Spiller 2003 Meghan Hotz 2010 Maura Hendrixson 2018
Katie Hagan 2003 Natasha Cloud 2010 Meghan Ricker 2018
Katie Wisniewski 2003     Molly Paolino 2018
Kristina Gineitis 2003     Siobhan Boylan 2018
        Stephanie Huseby 2018