For The Dialog
WILMINGTON – The Ursuline Raiders won the St. Francis Healthcare Cup – the main draw of the Diamond State Classic – for the first time since 2007 with a 47-40 win over Roland Park Country Day (Md.) on Dec. 30 at the St. E Center.
Olivia Mason, who scored 11 second-half points, made a huge basket with 20 seconds remaining off a one-handed bounce pass from tournament most valuable player Alisha Lewis. That put Ursuline ahead, 43-40.
“She makes a one handed bounce pass. Oh man, what do you say? ” Raiders coach John Noonan said. “People are yelling at me, ‘Take a timeout!’ It was crazy, but I’m a believer in let the kids play. I believe in them and they have proven it time and time again.”
Mason credited the big play to Lewis.
“Alisha had a great drive and I was in the right spot at the right time to finish it,” she said.
Trailing by three, the Reds were trying to set up a play to find Jeydah Johnson, who had made five three-pointers on the day. She was held at the same time as an illegal screen was set, and the baseline official called an offensive foul that caused Roland Park’s coach to run on the floor.
Maggie Connelly, who finished with a team-high 14 points, made four clutch free throws to seal it.
“I don’t know why I’m a great free-throw shooter at the end because I’m real nervous,” Connolly said.
The Raiders (6-1) will be back at St Elizabeth on Wednesday night as they face the Vikings at 7:15 p.m. Roland Park (8-2) had only lost to Paul VI of Virginia, the top-ranked team in the country, before meeting Ursuline.