AUSTINTOWN, OH- The Poland Lady Bulldogs won their first district championship since 2000 tonight with a 65-51 win over Ursuline.
The Bulldogs set the tone quickly as Sarah Bury took the tip away from Ursuline and got a fast-break layup. Poland’s pressure defense forced 7 Irish turnovers in the 1st quarter. Dayshanette Harris fought tooth and nail to keep her team in it scoring the first 9 Irish points. Poland led after a quarter, 24-14.
Poland continued to pressure the Irish as the first half went on. They forced 6 more Irish turnovers in the 2nd quarter and seemed to be capitalizing on every single one. Jackie Grisdale starting to catch fire from the perimeter, she had a big three-pointer that stretched the Poland lead to 29-14. Poland held Dayshanette Harris to just 3 points in the whole second quarter, which is a big reason their lead ballooned to 37-22 at the half.
On the first offensive possession of the 3rd quarter, Harris took it into the lane and hit the deck hard. Irish fans held their breath as she stayed on the ground for a good 3 minutes being looked at by the trainers. She left the game, but Ursuline held strong with her, not on the floor. With about 5:00 to go in the 3rd Harris came back into the game, bandages wrapped on her left elbow. It had no effect on her as she immediately hit a pull up three. Seeing their star fight through an injury inspired the Irish and they went on a 19-11 run to end the 3rd frame, and only trailed 50-41.
The momentum was on the Irish side as the final frame began. The two teams traded a few buckets and then Ursuline cut the lead to seven. A very important moment in the game as the Poland defense made a few tough stops while their offense was trying to get back into a rhythm. Ursuline had to feel like this was their chance to take control of the game but Poland’s defense held strong. With the game at a tipping point, senior Kat Partika sidestepped a defender and hit a 15-foot jumper to put Poland’s lead back in double figures 54-43. Brooke Bobbey would then step up with back to back steals that would lead to layups, and just like that Poland was back up 60-45. Bobbey then hit her first three of the game that gave them a 63-47 lead and sealed the win for the Bulldogs. Poland would go on to win by a final score of 65-51.
The Irish were led by a gritty performance from Dayshanette Harris fighting through an injury to score 30 points. Anya Curd was also in double figures adding 10.
The Bulldogs had 3 players get into double figure led by Sarah Bury with 17 points 8 rebounds. Jackie Grisdale added 13 points 7 rebounds and Kailyn Brown finished with 12 points 7 rebounds. Poland moves on to play Akron Buchtel on Tuesday, March 5th at 8:00 at Barberton High School.
Sarah Bury Interview:
Nick Blanch Interview:
Kailyn Brown Interview:
Jackie Grisdale Interview: