WILMINGTON — Ursuline’s basketball team has faced little adversity this season, particularly against in-state competition. If anyone was wondering, then, how the Raiders would react when things didn’t go their way, the answer is pretty darn well.
Ursuline, the top-ranked team in Delaware by Delaware Live Sports, trailed No. 5 Caravel, 21-13, after a quarter on Feb. 7 at Laffey-McHugh Gymnasium. The Raiders scored the first 10 points of the second quarter, took the lead for good a few minutes later amd went on to a 66-42 win.
Four different Buccaneers scored as they opened up a 7-3 lead, with nearly all the damage being done down low. Caravel guard Chastity “Speedy” Wilson went underneath a few times in the first, with a backhand layup giving her squad an 11-5 lead.
A Taylor Brown three-pointer got Ursuline to within two at 13-11, but the Buccaneers responded. Laila Glover started an 8-0 run with a short turnaround shot. Jasiyah Crawford drove the lane for two, and Brycelyn Stryckning scored on a follow shot. Finally, Amaya Johnson turned a steal into a layup before Skyler Bolden picked up an offensive rebound and bucket for Ursuline to end the quarter.
A different Raiders team came out for the second quarter. Bolden scored on a runner, and after a Bolden rebound, Chamira Marshall Brothers drained a three. Gigi Banks was next, getting a rebound and dribbling the length of the floor for a layup, and Abby Grillo put the Raiders on top for the first time with a three-pointer, with Marshall Brothers earning the assist.
Consecutive layups by Wilson reestablished the Bucs’ lead, but Hannah Kelley swished a corner three to put Ursuline on top, 26-25, and they would not trail again. The action was fast-paced both ways as the second wore on, with Ursuline creating opportunities through their defense., which held the Bucs to three layups in the second. Kelley’s big quarter continued with her rebounding her own miss late in the half, and she added a pair of free throws to put the Raiders on top, 34-27, at the half.
Wilson followed her own miss to begin the second half, but the Raiders kept up the frantic pace and scored the next 6.
The third quarter allowed the Raiders to show their many weapons. Brown threaded a needle to find Bolden for a layup, and Emma Anthony came off the bench to hit from long distance. Banks had a number of steals and impressive assists, including a no-look pass to Jazzlyn Wesley for a layup.
Still, Wilson and Stryckning kept the Buccaneers within striking distance as they trailed by nine heading into the fourth. Any hopes of a comeback, however, were dashed early. Bolden hit a corner three, then added a sweet reverse layup to begin the fourth. Brown had a few threes as the Raiders took a comfortable lead with a 14-2 run.
Banks and Brown each scored 13 for the Raiders, who finished with 10 three-pointers. Bolden had 12. A total of nine players scored. Ursuline (17-0) has a home showdown with No. 2 Sanford on Friday at 7 p.m. Tickets must be purchased online through www.uaraiderssports.com.
Wilson had 18 for the Buccaneers, who saw their six-game winning streak come to an end. Caravel (10-5) travels to Tower Hill for a 6 p.m. tip on Friday.
All photos by Mike Lang.