GIRLS BASKETBALL Victory leaves Rayen crying 'foul'
Courtney Davidson scored 20 points to lead the Irish to a 66-51 win.
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Ursuline High girls basketball team found a foolproof way of stopping Rayen's Cherrell Triplett.
Keep her on the bench.
The Irish attacked the basket and handcuffed the Tigers' senior standout with her fourth foul less than two minutes into the second quarter.
From then on, Ursuline controlled the boards -- the Irish out-rebounded the Tigers 38-30 -- to snap Rayen's nine-game winning streak, 66-51 Saturday at Ursuline High School.
"We were playing good before that point," said Rayen coach Holly Seimetz, whose frustration with the referees led to a technical in the second quarter. "Don't take us out of the game that way."
Courtney Davidson came off the bench (it was senior day) to score 20 points and added five rebounds and three steals for the Irish (12-5).
"We were disappointed with our first half effort," Ursuline coach Sean Durkin said. "It was our last home game and we wanted to play well early. Obviously that didn't happen."
Early lead: Rayen opened the game with a 9-2 run, forcing seven Irish turnovers over that span. But Ursuline answered with a 9-4 advantage to end the quarter.
Christina Cook then heated up for the Irish, scoring their first seven points of the quarter as Ursuline finished with a 33-29 halftime lead. Ursuline extended its lead to 46-38 after three before Rayen cut its deficit to 52-46 with 3:54 remaining.
The Tigers would get no closer, missing their next eight shots to trail 66-46 in the closing seconds.
Cook finished with 11 points -- nine in the second quarter -- and eight rebounds, but was frustrated with the Irish defense.
"We just need to break down and play some 'D'," Cook said. "We definitely need to get better defensively."
Senior Sarah McKelvey scored 13 points and had a game-high 10 rebounds for the Irish and senior Mahogani Graves added 12 points, five rebounds and four assists.
"Defensively, we just broke down," Durkin said. "I think most of their points [in the first quarter] came off layups. But Rayen is very athletic. They can make plays."
Shooting numbers: Rayen shot 18-of-52 from the field (35 percent) and was 14-of-21 from the line. Ursuline hit 27-of-49 from the field (55 percent) and was 12-of-23 from the line.
"Offensively, we executed pretty well," Durkin said. "But I'm not happy with our defense. If we play this way in the tournament, we're going to have problems."
Erica Wilson led the Tigers (13-5) with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Taniesha Holland had 12 points and three assists and Triplett had nine points and three steals.
Rayen clinched its fourth-straight City Series title Friday, but Seimetz wants to play better in non-conference games.
"The City is not our first goal," she said. "The City is weak. We want to show we can play with bigger teams. We can do it. I have confidence in them."