A rematch of last years regular season finale, the Ursuline Fighting Irish (12-5) played host to the Tigers of Massillon Washington (10-6). While the site had flipped, the quality of the game did not. The Tigers won last seasons game by just 3 points, and this year’s matchup also came down to the final seconds.
After 3 quarter off hard fought, up tempo, grueling basketball, Massillon took a 2-point lead into the final quarter. Scoring had come in bunches for both squads all night long. Each time one side would score, the other would respond with a basket of their own.
Trailing by 2 with under a minute to go, Ursuline applied a full court press to try and force a Massillon turnover. As the Tiger ball handler tried to push it across half court, Ursuline’s Will Burney picked his pocket, and laid one off the glass easily to knot the game at 45 all.
Keeping with the press that just tied the game for them, the Irish looked to force another turnover, or at apply some pressure as the Tigers tried to move the ball up the floor. Going for the steal again, Will Burney reached in and fouled Massillon’s Luke Sabo, sending him to the line for two shots.
Sabo would make the first but miss the second, giving Massillon the lead, 53-52. The ensuing Irish possession would result in a missed shot with just over 4 seconds remaining, then a loose ball foul with 0.8 seconds left on the clock.
With the Irish in the bonus, Ursuline’s JakylanIrving would head to the line for the one and one, and a chance to possibly win the game, but his first free throw would just barely rim out and a Massillon rebound would seal their victory, 53-52 over the Irish.
Vinny Flauto – 14 points
Brady Shannon – 9 points
Luke Sabo – 12 points
Nick Liebler – 10 points
Ursuline – Following their defeat, the Irish will be back in city play Tuesday the 9th, as they will travel to East to take on the Golden Bears (2-6). These two schools faced off back on January 22nd, in a matchup that the Irish would come out on top, 67-66.
Massillon Washington – The Tigers will be back on the road again Saturday at 4:30 pm to take on the Benedictine Bengals (0-10).
*Contributed by YSN’s Jamie Thomson