Ursuline jumped to an early lead and held on for a rare win over Harding.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Hustle, grit and fierce determination were prime factors for Ursuline on Friday night in a 60-52 victory over Warren Harding in a Steel Valley Conference matchup before a packed house at the Wick Avenue School.
"Defense for us was the difference in this game," said Ursuline coach Keith Gunther, whose team improved to 8-1 overall and 2-0 in the SVC. "We hustled and fought for loose balls all night.
"We played our 2-3 matchup and forced Harding to shoot from the outside and we were able to get several key transition baskets at the right time."
Ursuline was led by Terry Vidale, who scored a career-high 15 points. Jerome Jones added 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Jones also had four assists.
"They were double- and triple-teaming me," said Jones, "so I kicked the ball out and my teammates did what they had to do. They also did a good job of boxing out so I could get to the boards."
The Raiders (10-1, 1-1) were without 6-foot-6 Terrin Brown, who leads the team in rebounds. He is out for the season after being injured at home.
"This is a game where we played catch up all night," said Warren Harding coach Steve Brown. "There are games where you don't put the ball in the basket, but when that happens you have to rebound and defend and we didn't do either very well tonight. Now we will see how well we will respond to facing adversity."
The Raiders' only lead of the night was 3-2 less than two minutes into the first quarter.
Carey Palermo's driving basket ignited an 8-0 Irish run that gave Ursuline a 10-3 lead.
Warren Harding was able to get back to within 14-11, but a 9-2 run by the Irish made it 23-13 with less than six minutes remaining in the second quarter.
Timely shooting for Irish
Again, the Raiders rallied, trailing 34-30 at halftime and 43-41 in the first minute of the final quarter.
Mario Manningham's two free throws with 4:30 remaining brought Warren Harding to within two, 48-46, but D'Aundray Brown and Derrick Stewart made field goals, and Jones and Palermo cashed in at the foul line, increasing the Irish's lead to 57-47 with 42 seconds remaining.
Palermo, the 5-10 senior point guard, finished with 11 points and six assists.
"We were aggressive and took advantage of some open shots," he said.
"This win was big for us as we haven't won over Harding since I have been here."
Manningham had 14 points and Steve Williams added 13 more for the Raiders. Williams and Roddy Fuller had six rebounds apiece.