A sellout crowd at Ursuline for a battle between two of the top three girls basketball teams in the state witnessed a win for Ursuline (15-5), handing Concord (19-1) its first loss of the season, with a final score of 50-41. Starting the game on an 11-0 tear, Ursuline’s full court pressure defense flustered the Raiders early, resulting in several turnovers in the first few minutes.
Ursuline senior and potential Player of the Year candidate Sabriya Harris, along with her teammates Kailyn Kampert and Maggie Connolly, contributed 30 of the team's 50 total points. Challenging Concord from inside and out, Ursuline was a threat from everywhere on the court, shooting mid-range and long-range shots, along with points created after Concord turnovers. The full-court press played a major factor, not allowing Concord to run their normal offense with leaders Zhan’e Snow, Wynter McLaughlin, Holly Panchak, Aahliyah Selby, and Jamiyah Dennis.
Concord’s very athletic group struggled to handle the ball amongst strong pressure from Ursuline until the second half. Despite the setback, Concord’s confidence seemed to grow throughout the game. Playing better on defense and cutting the deficit, Concord outscored their opponents by seven points in the second half of play. If not for the 16 point differential after the first quarter and first half, Concord could have upset the state’s number one team.
Snow and Dennis, with 12 and 11 points respectively, were the leading scorers for Concord. Ursuline’s win improved its record to 15-5 playing an extremely tough schedule, while Concord suffered its first loss of the season, and will head into the state tournament at 19-1. Both teams will make the playoffs, and a potential rematch could be in the near future.
Photo courtesy of Kelsey Wiley