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Ursuline fends off Girard

GIRARD — The Ursuline Irish completed their regular season schedule with a 43-40 victory in Girard on Saturday afternoon over the Indians.

“I’m happy we won the game,” said Ursuline coach LaVell Turnage. “We knew we had to come in and do the little things in order to win. We executed late in the game on both ends of the court.”

Ursuline (12-10) led throughout the contest, but the Indians kept chipping away until the final second.

Julie Lee had all eight of her points in the first quarter, including a pair of shots from behind the arc, and the Irish were up 12-9 heading to the second. Then, freshman Kennedy Carpenter (10 points) scored to extend the advantage.

“I’m proud that we got the win,” Carpenter said. “We pushed through. The main goal is to finish games. We wanted to win the last three games of the regular season, and that’s what we did.”

Ally Gassman took it to the hoop, but Ursuline was ahead 27-19 at halftime. The Indians (12-9) still have one more game left in the regular season before tournament time.

“This was a tournament-type atmosphere,” said Girard coach Joe Bornemiss. “It was a great basketball game. This was a great opportunity to get both teams geared up for this tournament.

“We have one more opportunity against West Branch next week. It’ll be nice to go up against some big kids and compete again. They are both top-notch programs with top-notch coaches. It prepares you for the playoffs.”

The Indians got closer in the third. Makenzee White led Girard with a game-high 17 points. She battled for a rebound, and Mia Malito (11 points) stole the ball and got the assist to Caylee Wilkes. But, the Irish were still clinging to a 36-34 lead.

Senior Lily Scott (10 points) got a shooter’s roll from downtown to start the fourth quarter for Ursuline. Fellow senior Meredith Gray did a good job of helping the Irish play keep-away for the final three minutes.

“Everybody contributed,” Gray said. “Everybody did the little things right. We played good defense. It’s good to have a winning season in my senior year. This group of girls are so much fun to be around. We’re close on and off the court.”

The Irish didn’t give the Indians many opportunities down the stretch with a strong defense and timely offensive rebounding.

However, Girard managed to make it a one-possession game as time was running out. But, a last-second shot attempt to tie the game fell short.

“Makenzee White was on the boards for Girard today,” Turnage said. “She gave them a lot of second-chance opportunities. In crunch time, we set up the offense, and moved the ball around. We got some offensive rebounds, and we got a nice win.”

sports@vindy.com

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