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Ursuline girls clamp down on Lakeview

Lily Scott and Alayna Smith tally 11 points apiece in 38-20 victory for Fighting Irish

Correspondent photo / Robert Hayes. Ursuline junior Chelsea Johnson hauls in a defensive rebound during the first half Wednesday evening.

CORTLAND — There’s always the cliche that defense wins championships, but there is a legitimate correlation between defensive prowess and buckets on the other end of the floor.

When shots may not be initially falling, some turnovers can really help create the spark needed. That proved to be the case for Ursuline, who hit the road and knocked-off a shorthanded Lakeview squad 38-20.

“They put that zone on us, we were settling for threes, that’s not really our strong suit, we usually attack the basket. Once we got the ball moving and started attacking the basket, things opened up for us,” said Fighting Irish coach Bernard Scott. “It’s our second game, we’re still learning what works for us, and it was good to get this win tonight.”

Junior Lily Scott hit a couple of early looks from range as Ursuline took an early 8-4 edge leading into the second quarter, but both teams struggled to find a rhythm throughout the first half.

When the ball isn’t going into the hoop, defense is key.

“We’re built on defense. I know that Lily did a good job defending their point guard all night and gave her a hard time, and it just made it tough for them to run things, which is what we want to do.” Scott said.

Ursuline (1-1) found their groove early in the third quarter, starting off with a 6-0 run that included a pair of scores by senior Alayna Smith, as the Fighting Irish began cutting toward the lane and opened up a 25-8 lead.

Smith and Scott both scored a game-high 11 points.

“We were a little down, we had a team talk, we had to get our team pumped, we had to get our team together and we came back stronger than ever,” Smith said. “Every time I give that open pass to Lily, I know she’s going to knock down that three, or when she gets the open pass and I go in toward the lane, I know she’s going to pass to me every time.

“We work together with that very well.”

The Fighting Irish found themselves rebounding from a tough 44-37 road loss to Howland earlier in the week. It was a contest that didn’t necessarily sit well with Ursuline, but they took it as a chance to learn.

“Last game at Howland, we got stuck in the traps, this time we were able to get open shots off the pass and handle the ball,” said Lily Scott. “It is definitely important because I don’t think we were as ready as we were today for the traps and we worked on it in practice the next day.

“We definitely a driving team, we’re not too good on the outside, but once we drove, we got open shots and baskets. The whole team helped with the scoring in the game, and that’s really important.”

Junior Chelsea Johnson added six points. Lakeview was led by freshman Mackenzie Stowe, who tallied ten, with senior Kylie Schwartz and junior Marina Sanders pitching in four.

Without multiple starters, the Bulldogs found Wednesday night’s bout as a way to incorporate some younger players and give them invaluable varsity minutes.

“Going in, I knew that we would just have to handle their pressure defensively, and at times we did. I don’t have anything but positives for the kids that got in and played, they played hard,” said Lakeview coach Kevin Haynie. “I think it was a shell shock, but a lot of freshmen got a lot of good minutes, so that’s a lot of experience.

“I think they fought, I don’t think they gave up. Now we missed some easy shots and we turned it over in the first half, we had 17 turnovers in the first half, and that’s just because you had to get some people in and see what goes on.”

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