NOTEBOOK | From Value City Arena
Up next: Ursuline (22-4) will meet Plain City Jonathan Alder (25-2) in the state final at 2 p.m. on Saturday in a rematch of the 2004 Division III state semifinals. That game, which the Irish won 59-43 en route to the state title, was the only other state tournament appearance for either team. "I think we match up better [with Ursuline] this year than we did two years ago," said Alder coach Terra McDaniels, whose team beat Castalia Margaretta 63-52 on Thursday. "We're excited to be back."
Still going: Ursuline senior Tyra Grant, who was named Ohio's Ms. Basketball on Wednesday, has scored 2,262 career points, best in Mahoning Valley history. Three other area players have scored more than 2,000: Boardman's Amber Bland (2,190), Canfield's Jenny Kulics (2,114) and Ursuline's Courtney Davidson (2,066). Davidson was a starter on that 2004 state title team. In case you're wondering, Grant would need to score 1,252 points to secure the top spot on the all-time list, which is held by Beaver Eastern's Marlene Stollings, who scored 3,514 points from 1989-1993. "I think my chances are pretty good," said Grant, drawing laughs from the media. "[But] I don't think I'll quite make it." Grant is 13th all-time in Ohio and would need 12 points to pass Bluffton's Caity Matter (2,274) to reach 12th place. She would need 57 to break into the top 10.
Valley history: Ursuline is one of four area teams to have won a state title. West Branch (Div. II, 2004), Mathews (Div. III, 1988) and Struthers (Class AAA, 1978) are the others.
Return trip: Garaway was making its third state tournament appearance, having lost in the semifinals in 1996 and finishing second in 1994. "We had a chance to win," said Pirates coach Scott Bardall. "I think most people would have considered the odds against us. But we gave ourselves a chance to pull as big an upset as you'll see down here."
New face: Boardman High girls basketball coach Ron Moschella was the color analyst for Fox 17/62, which broadcast the game on tape delay. Chad Krispinsky did the play-by-play. "I asked Chad, 'Am I allowed to be colorful?' " Moschella said before the game. "He said I can be as colorful as I want. That's the wrong thing to say to me."