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Oakville girls experience nail-biting win over Kirkwood, defeat to University City

After a close inspection of Paul Harrington's fingernails, you might notice that there's not much nail left.

Harrington, the head coach of the girls' basketball team at Oakville Senior High School, may have gnawed the nails straight down to the bone after the Tigers' nail-biting 55-51 win at Kirkwood and a heartbreaking 49-47 loss at University City.

"We had two real nail biters," Harrington told the Call. "Both were close ball games, but both were definitely exciting."

The Tigers (9-12, 2-4 Suburban South) jumped out to a 22-18 lead over the Pioneers on Tuesday evening of last week.

Oakville rounded out the third quarter of play with a commanding 43-32 lead, yet Kirkwood made things interesting in the final minutes of the game as it outscored the black and gold 17-12 in the fourth quarter of play.

"We thought we played well against Kirkwood," Harrington said. "We felt pretty good going into University City."

The Tigers were led by sophomore center Sherry Zehner's 14 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and one steal.

Also having a double double for Oakville was senior guard Sarah Bartholic with 12 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and three assists.

At University City last Friday evening, the Tigers found themselves being dominated on the boards as they gave up a 35-23 rebounding advantage to the Lions.

"They (University City) are an excellent rebounding team," Harrington said.

"That was a big concern for us going into the game."

Oakville was led by the hot hand of sophomore center Faith Zabek's as she racked up a season high 22 points and seven rebounds.

"She (Zabek) had an awesome night offensively," Harrington said.

"Faith really stepped up and had one of her best games ever."

Bartholic once again scored in double figures with 11 points, six rebounds and three assists.

"Sarah was really up for it (the University City game)," Harrington said.

"She realizes that she's got to be the person that we go to. She's just going to get better and better."

Oakville returns to action this Friday evening.

The team will travel to Seckman for a Suburban South Conference showdown with the Jaguars.

"We are concerned with Seckman because of their guards," Harrington said.

"They're the type of team that we've had problems with all season because we're more of an inside team and they can really shoot it from the three."

The Seckman contest is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.

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