STEEL VALLEY GIRLS Davidson has 24 as Ursuline stops Cardinal Mooney
The Irish sophomore dominated the Cardinals in the 58-50 win.
By JOHN BUTERA
YOUNGSTOWN -- Nine juniors and seniors started Thursday's Ursuline-Mooney high school girls basketball game, but it was the lone sophomore who stole the show.
Ursuline's Courtney Davidson scored 24 points to lead a fast-paced attack as the Irish (3-1) began Steel Valley Conference play by defeating the Cardinals, 58-50.
Davidson scored 38 and 30 points in games against Mooney last year.
"We just haven't been able to stop her," Mooney (3-3, 0-2 SVC) coach Roy Nard said. "We've tried to do several different things and none of them have worked."
Early lead: The Irish led 18-13 after the first quarter when Davidson started to heat up, turning in an outstanding eight minutes in all aspects of the game.
With 6 minutes, 9 seconds remaining, her assist led to a basket by Christina Cook. Then in the space of 31 seconds, Davidson made a 3-pointer and a short jumper as Ursuline surged ahead, 26-13.
In addition to Davidson, Mooney had other concerns as it committed five turnovers before making its only basket of the second quarter at the 3:26 mark.
Davidson wasn't done. She stole a ball, made a behind the back dribble, scored a layup and had another assist for Ursuline's 30-15 lead.
Davidson and Mahogni Graves ran off seven unanswered points to extend Ursuline's lead to 41-25.
Davidson then connected on a pair of 3-pointers.
Late in the quarter, Davidson left the game with a cramp in her right leg, then returned.
Mooney rallies: With Davidson on the bench until 4:22 of the final quarter, Mooney started to pick away at the lead . With 1:47 to go, the Cardinals trailed by seven points, 55-48, but that's as close as they would get.
An outstanding performance at the foul line kept the Cardinals within striking distance as Lori Patrone made 7-of-7. Mooney managed to connect on 17-of-19 free throws.
Patrone and Aieshya Dixon each 11 points, while Ursuline's Graves added 17 points.
Davidson said, "They held their own when I was down and that's nice to know that you have teammates that can do that."
Ursuline coach Sean Durkin said, "We spent time working on things without her in there, so the girls knew it was time for them to step up and show what they were made of."