The Lady Raiders hadn’t played a game since December 30th coming into tonight but showed little rust hosting the Ursuline Irish, and walked away with a 54-49 win.
The pace of the 1st Quarter was set by the Irish as their speed and transition took the Raiders a while to settle into. The game was tied 11-11 before the game reached halfway through the 1st frame. The Irish ended the quarter on a 7-2 run and lead 18-13 after 1.
The Raider defense after allowing 18 points in one quarter was urged by coach Matisi to settle down and not let the Irish dictate the pace of play. The Raiders heard his message and held the Irish to just 8 points in the 2nd quarter. Maddie Durkin got in to double figures before halftime to help the Raiders trail by just 3 at the break, 26-23.
The third quarter is when the Raiders would start to take control of this game. Coach Matisi knew his team was getting the looks they wanted in the first half and kept going to the shooters he wanted to get looks. Bri Modic who went 1/7 from three-point range in the first half sparked the Raiders offense with a big perimeter shot to cut the Irish deficit to 30-28 with 4:40 left in the 3rd. The next possession Maddie Durkin hit a three of her own to give the Raiders their first lead since 3:00 left in the first quarter. Later she would hit another three to give the Raiders a 36-32 lead. The Irish went down and scored quickly but the Raiders would have the last shot of the frame. Holding the ball until there were 10 seconds on the clock, Bri Modic hit a three at the buzzer to give the Raiders a 39-34 lead after 3 quarters of play.
The Raiders kept pushing as the 4th quarter started as Modic struck from deep again keeping the Raider lead at 42-37. They would push across 4 more points and hold their biggest lead of the game at 46-37. The Irish had one last stand in them however which would make this game a thriller. They went on a 9-0 run to tie the game at 46-46 with 3:00 to go in the game. Bree Kohler who’s job most of the night had been guarding Irish standout Dayshanette Harris forced a major turnover to give Izzy Lamparty a good look giving the Raiders a 48-46 lead. Then Bri Modic with a dagger three from the corner making it a 51-46 game. She finished 5/14 from three after starting 1/7. With under a minute left, the Irish cut the lead to 52-49 and Harris who finished with a game-high 21 was rushing down the court on a fast break opportunity, senior Sam Patrone stepped in front of her, altering her shot. Harris would miss the layup and the Irish would never get possession of the ball back as the Raiders hit two more free throws to seal the 54-49 win.
Maddie Durkin led the way tonight with 17 points 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Bri Modic finished with 15 and Izzy Lamparty was also in double figures with 12. The Lady Raiders return to action Monday as they travel to Smithsville to play Massillon Tuslaw.