For The Dialog
NEWARK – Top-seeded Ursuline used the long ball to defeat the eighth seed, Hodgson, 55-37, on March 5 in a girls’ basketball quarterfinal matchup at the Bob Carpenter Center. The Raiders will meet No. 4 Concord in a semifinal game on Wednesday at approximately 8 p.m., also at the Bob.
Ursuline came out firing as senior Alyssa Irons drained three deep three-point shots and sophomore Maggie Connolly hit another for a quick 12-6 lead. Irons said she wasn’t “feeling it” in warmups, but that changed.
“After hitting the first one, I felt comfortable in my open looks,” she said.
The Silver Eagles had success beating the Raiders’ press with their speed, converting them into layups, but two more triples by Connolly keyed an 8-2 period-ending run as Ursuline led, 20-8.
The lead was still 12 at the half, as Ursuline hit five field goals, all from two-point range, and Hodgson made six of 11 free throws.
The Raiders took control of the game in the third quarter as Irons hit two more three-pointers from NBA range. She scored eight points in a 12-0 UA run that put them up, 44-22. Ursuline’s half-court defense forced several missed shots by the Silver Eagles, and the Raiders made their opponents pay.
In the fourth quarter, Ursuline made many trips to the foul line, but they struggled uncharacteristically, hitting just eight of 18. The lead, however, was too much for Hodgson to overcome. Ursuline coach John Noonan said he was happy with his team’s start.
“You never know how they will come out with a layoff, playing in a big arena against a team with speed, and we hit the shots early,” he said.
Irons led Ursuline with 19, while Connolly added nine.
Ursuline and Concord met once before this season, in the teams’ regular-season finale on Feb. 23. The Ursuline Raiders won that one, 50-41.