WILMINGTON — Ursuline dialed long-distance in its basketball game against Sanford on the night of Feb. 10, but the Warriors’ impressive start was too much to overcome. Sanford, the second-ranked team in the state by Delaware Live sports, prevailed in the showdown with No. 3 Ursuline, 61-44.
Sanford pounded the ball inside over and over in the first half, using the size of Amiya Carroll and the quickness of Zy Kilgoe to create opportunities. Carroll opened the scoring with a drive down low, part of an opening run that reached six points. Carroll hit a long jumper before Kilgoe got on the scoreboard after taking a steal the other way for a layup.
The Raiders struggled with their shooting in the first. They were held off the scoreboard until Emily Rzucidlo hit a three-point shot with two and a half minutes to go in the first, but those were the team’s only first-quarter points. Dallas Pierce answered Rzucidlo’s three with one of her own, and the Warriors took a 10-point lead after one.
Rzucidlo swished a triple to open the second quarter, but Pierce showed off her quickness with a drive down the middle to send the Warriors’ lead to nine points. Ursuline got as close as four on a banked-in three by Hannah Kelley, but again Sanford answered, with Abby Meredith calmly knocking down one of her two triples on the very next possession.
The Warriors continued to attack the Raiders’ defense, and they held a 26-15 halftime advantage.
Sanford spent much of the game in a zone defense, daring the Raiders to shoot over them, and in the third quarter, the Raiders found some success. The hosts scored six of the first eight points of the second half, cutting the deficit to 28-21 on an Ella Gordon baseline drive.
But the Warriors continued to go underneath. Jada Snow scored a few times from in close, and Carroll hit four free throws to extend the lead to 15 heading into the final quarter.
Still facing that zone, the Raiders started firing successfully from deep in the fourth. Rzucidlo had three three-pointers in the quarter, while Kelley added two more. But the Warriors found an answer in Kilgoe. She attacked the basket consistently, and she ended up with 16 points in the fourth quarter alone, hitting five field goals and making four of six from the line. Overall, the Warriors converted 10 of 14 free throw attempts in the fourth to prevent an Ursuline comeback.
Kilgoe finished with 20 points to lead the Warriors, with Pierce (13) and Carroll (12) also reaching double figures. Sanford won its seventh in a row to move to 9-1. They visit Tatnall on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Rzucidlo scored 20 to pace the Raiders, including five of the team’s 10 three-pointers, and Kelley added 13. Ursuline (6-2) had a six-game winning streak snapped; the Raiders will take a trip to Conrad on Saturday for a 5:45 p.m. start, the first of four straight road games for the team.