The Cardinals won their first league game of the season.
By BOB ROTH
YOUNGSTOWN -- Five clutch free throws down the stretch Friday led the Mooney High basketball team to a 54-50 triumph over archrival Ursuline in the Fighting Irish gym.
The tenth and final lead change of the Steel Valley Conference game came with 1:25 remaining when Mooney's Jeff Hehr, on a brilliant lead bounce pass from Curtis Ingram, scored to break a 47-47 deadlock.
"This was a typical game between our teams," Mooney coach Nick Bellino said after his Cardinals avenged a 43-42 loss to the Irish on Jan. 11.
Late in the game, Ingram made a free throw, then Joe Burke hit four straight for Mooney (8-9, 1-6).
"I wanted the ball at the end to make up for missed opportunities earlier in the game" said Burke, one of two Mooney seniors.
Leading scorers: Hehr and Ingram, a sophomore and junior guard duo, led the Cardinals in scoring with 17 points apiece.
Both hit 3-pointers before the first half ended, giving the Cards a 26-24 lead at the intermission.
Senior point guard Marc Palermo kept Ursuline in the game, making a free throw and three field goals in the first half.
Palermo's third 3-pointer got his team back to 47-47 with 2:19 left.
Palermo had 27 points, six assists and four steals.
"He is a great player who made an impression on me tonight as he almost took the game away from us," Bellino said. "But we hung in there staying close and doing what we had to do to win which was make key free throws and take care of the basketball at the end."
Ingram had seven rebounds and six assists.
"This is what a rivalry is about," Ingram said. "After losing to them, we wanted this one and to win. We knew we had to play hard and keep our composure."
Irish stars: Andre Edmonds score 11 points and pulled down 14 of the team's 32 rebounds for Ursuline (12-5, 3-2).
Jimmy Riley added 10 points. Only four Ursuline players scored and the Irish made just 8 of 20 from the foul line.
Ursuline coach Steve Leslie, a longtime assistant to Bellino, said, "We were fortunate to win at their place and tonight we were outworked on the court.
"I know the Mooney kids and they came to play and just outhustled us."
The loss knocks Ursuline two games behind first-place Warren Harding (14-3, 5-1).