Ursuline’s Curd loves defense, but is developing inside game


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Curd loves defense, but is developing inside game

By Dan Hiner

dhiner@vindy.com

youngstown

Ursuline girls basketball player Dayshanette Harris has gotten a lot of publicity throughout the 2017-18 season.

While Harris deserves the attention, fellow junior Anyah Curd has quietly put together a successful season of her own.

Curd has become the lead-by-example player on a team devoid of seniors. She said the junior class has worked on developing the freshmen so they can contribute in the playoffs.

“[The junior class] has been really important so we can help our freshmen, get them ready for tournament time and then we can go to state,” Curd said.

Ursuline head coach Vannessa Dickson said Curd “doesn’t like everyone looking at her.” And Curd said she has no problem with everyone looking at Harris.

“Honestly, I’m fine with it because she’s good,” Curd said. “She deserves her credit when it’s due. I’m the defensive end — get the rebounds and give her the ball to score.”

In her last four games, Curd is averaging 15.7 points and 10.2 rebounds — including a 23-point, 10-rebound performance against South Range on Feb. 5.

Dickson said Curd’s offense is starting to develop and she’s beginning to become more confident scoring in the post.

“Anyah’s one of those kids that I always told her she has the ability to alter a game not only defensively but offensively,” Dickson said. “It’s kind of what we’re seeing over the last five games.”

Curd doesn’t identify herself as a scorer. She’s proud of her defense and rebounding. The junior said her work on the backboards is a result of her basketball IQ.

“Basketball IQ is important,” Curd said. “You have to know how your players shoot. So when the ball comes short, you’re going to know it’s coming short the way they release it. So when it’s short, I’m there to put it back and give my team an extra two points.”

Curd’s rebounding has been an important component in the team’s offense. The Irish’s offense is more efficient when the court is spaced well and Harris can score in transition. The Irish want to use their athleticism in space to create quick offense.

“The one thing that makes Anyah dynamic is she’s one of those post players that can not only rebound, but she can handle the ball really well,” Dickson said. “When she gets a rebound, I tell the guards to just go. She pushes the ball up just like a guard does, so that helps in our transition. She does a really good job [when] our guards make themselves available, she gets an outlet and sprints right down the middle.”

Dickson said the coaches credit Curd’s athleticism on her condition. She said Curd has worked on toward becoming a more dynamic player.

Recently Curd isn’t the only Ursuline player to step up. Forward Lindsay Bell has also averaged a double-double over the last several games.

Dickson said the team isn’t focused on receiving credit. She said the coaching staff has worked toward preparing all their players for key situations.

“A lot of our kids do things that don’t end up in the stat book,” Dickson said. “Moving into the tournament, we’ve challenged all of our kids ... it’s the next man up. Anybody, any given day could step up.”

Ursuline is set to begin its Division II tournament run Saturday at home against Crestwood. The Irish are the No. 5 seed in the Austintown Fitch sectional-district.

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