CUYAHOGA FALLS: It seems that whenever St. Vincent-St. Mary and Walsh Jesuit compete in a sporting event the intensity level is high.
Wednesday night proved to be no different as the Fighting Irish and Warriors met in a girls basketball game in which both teams played efficient defense.
Walsh emerged victorious 47-45 over visiting St. V-M when an off-balance 3-point attempt by Irish junior Shannon Jack at the buzzer from about 45 feet away caromed off the backboard, spun around the rim and out.
“I knew it would be a close game, but not that close,” Walsh sophomore Anna Hall said. “I expected us to have to put up a fight to win. We did, but it was too close for comfort.”
Jack put the Irish (4-2) back into the game by keying a 10-0 run that cut the Warriors’ (5-1) lead to 46-45 with less than a minute to go.
Jack scored a game-high 17 points, including six during the big surge and 15 in the second half. St. V-M outscored Walsh 17-4 in the fourth.
“I am happy with how the girls played in the fourth quarter,” St. V-M coach Joe Jakubick said. “They played hard and never gave up and were pretty persistent with their effort, which I liked, but you can’t play the first three quarters like we played.
“Give credit to Walsh and how they played. They played with discipline. [Senior] Sophia Simone had some big shots when she did score for them.”
Simone finished with eight points and eight rebounds. Hall battled through muscle cramps to lead Walsh with 11 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.
“It was difficult trying to deal with how we played in the fourth quarter, but I think our team held it together and helped each other out,” Hall said.
Walsh led 18-11 after one quarter, 25-13 at halftime and 43-28 after three quarters.
“All of the games that we have played we have come out strong,” Walsh junior Rachel Keough said. “That was one of the things we wanted to do this game. We did that, and then that fourth quarter I know we kind of fell apart a little bit, but in the end we came together and the result came out good for us.”
Keough finished with six points and seven rebounds. Senior Jessa Gilberto scored nine points before fouling out with 38.9 seconds to go.
“We are a young team and we don’t have a lot of experience,” Walsh coach Pete Zaccari said. “We are certainly going to learn from the fourth quarter and get better. To be able to still get this win is rewarding. St. Vincent-St. Mary is a very good team. They are well coached and they have a veteran group.”
Sophomore Lilli Piper gave Walsh a presence inside and totaled six points, nine rebounds and four steals. She made 1-of-2 free throws with 3.0 seconds to go.
“I just try to be aggressive and try to keep our team under control,” Piper said. “I try to keep people from freaking out. I like to help keep people calm and ready to play.”
Junior Jordan Korinek had 14 points and 11 rebounds for St. V-M, and senior Erica Bratton contributed 10 points and five rebounds.
“We have to do a better job of checking out on rebounds,” Jakubick said. “I really felt that Walsh out- hustled us to so many rebounds. They got so many offensive rebounds. We have to improve on that. We will work on that starting tomorrow in practice.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.