The Irish posted a 57-46 win over Cardinal Mooney for a 4-1 SVC record.
By BOB ROTH
YOUNGSTOWN -- Cardinal Mooney High entered Thursday's game against Ursuline with vivid memories of an eight-point loss to the Irish in December.
The Cardinals started quickly, but the Irish finished well.
Sophomore Courtney Davidson scored 24 points to lead the visiting Irish to a 57-46 win over their Steel Valley Conference rivals.
The Cardinals made their first seven shots and led 18-14 at the end of the first quarter. Junior Anastasia Vouvalis scored 12 points and Aieshya Dixon added eight in the first half as the Cardinals (8-6, 1-5 SVC) took a 33-30 halftime lead.
Defense delivers: Then the Ursuline defense took over.
"We were unhappy with our defensive play in the first half, so we challenged our kids, asking them to pick up their intensity in the second half," Ursuline coach Sean Durkin said. "We did a nice job of putting bodies on their people."
Vouvalis did not score again and the Irish (11-4, 4-1) held Dixon to two points in the second half.
Davidson scored nine points in the third quarter to give Ursuline a 47-39 lead after three. They did not trail again.
Ursuline senior Christina Cook scored 16 points -- 10 in the second half -- and grabbed seven rebounds. Davidson added five rebounds, five steals and five assists.
"Since I'm not that good of a defensive player I have to work harder," Davidson said. "Coming out in the third quarter we knew our defense had to do the job and our offense would come."
Irish senior Mahogani Graves scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Ursuline out-rebounded Mooney 27-23. Dixon had 10 boards.
"We just quit executing offensively in the second half," Mooney coach Roy Nard. "When you only score 13 points in a half against a team like Ursuline, you can't win."