In the semifinal game, the Raiders put forth a valiant effort but came up short 40-35 to Ursuline.
At the Bob Carpenter Center, the atmosphere was electric as the Concord Raiders took on the Ursuline Raiders. Concord entered the game with a 21-1 record and Ursuline came with a 17-5 record. The Raiders’ only loss was to Ursuline by nine points earlier in the season. Concord is one of the first public schools to break through to the Final Four in many years.
Concord’s best took to the court, with Holly Panchak, Wynter McLaughlin, Zhane’ Snow, Caroline Procak, and Aahliyah Selby in the starting lineup. Concord scored first, with a three-pointer from Snow. Later on in the quarter, Procak took an open shot to score two points. Ursuline’s #14 made a shot from virtually underneath the basket, and Concord’s Jamiyah Dennis countered with a dunk that ended the quarter 11-8 Ursuline.
In the beginning of the 2nd quarter, Ursuline committed a foul against Snow that she deftly converted into two points. Selby then scored from outside the arc. Both Procak and Selby scored two points to bring the Raiders up to 17, with Selby’s points coming after a breakaway from Ursuline. The first-half ended with a close score of 18-17 Ursuline, due to Concord’s calculated offense and tough defense that forced turnovers. Concord succeeded in breaking Ursuline’s press, an improvement from their last match against the same team.
Throughout the game, the Concord student section showed their ardent support for their team, chanting “Defense” and countering Ursuline’s camouflaged outfits with chants of “We can see you!”
The 3rd quarter started off with two points for Concord, quickly followed by another three. Ursuline countered with a no-look pass that earned them two points. As Ursuline scored and brought the score to 27-22, Concord called a time-out. Soon after, a foul was called on Snow, and Selby went down to the ground with an injury. Selby quickly recovered and persevered through the rest of the game. Dennis converted a foul against her into two points. Panchak later scored on a breakaway to bring the score to 31-28 at the end of the 3rd.
Dennis started the 4th quarter off right by dodging a defender and getting a basket for the team. Ursuline scored two points on a dunk to make it 36-30 with 3 minutes remaining. McLaughlin went on to score two points, and Ursuline scored two points on fouls. With a last minute 3-pointer, the Raiders brought the score up to a 40-35 point tally that just fell short of their goal. Their hard effort fell short due to a couple of mistakes, but overall the Concord Raiders played an intense game.
Even after a tough end to a phenomenal season, the Raiders can look forward to a new season in which all but two of their starting players will be returning.
Additional Analysis provided by Mrs. Peters and Mr. Peters.