If Ursuline were to win on Sunday, the name on everyone’s lips was supposed to be Beth Wooters. Attaining 500 wins is something would earn that recognition.
Instead, it was a 14-year-old freshman who stole the show in the opening game of the Autism Classic at Irvington High School. Scoring your team’s final eight points in 38 seconds, including the game-winning buzzer-beater will certainly earn that recognition.
Korina Guerra drove the lane in the final seconds against Kennedy and put up a layup that curled around the cylinder, then finally fell through to give Ursuline a 61-60 win on Sunday.
A loud horn, plenty of celebration, and utter pandemonium ensued.
“It’s crazy. I’m just very excited and I’m happy for my team and my coach, and I’m just really proud to be playing Ursuline basketball,” said Guerra, who scored a team-high 21 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter.
Of course the bigger story, and perhaps what made the win even more special, was the fact that it was Beth Wooters’ 500th career coaching win. A milestone that placed the head Koala in a club that only a handful of high school coaches in Section 1 can say they are a part of.
“It’s great. I’m happy it’s here, I’m happy it’s over,” said Wooters, still exhausted from all the yelling, cheering, hugging, and pictures of the last hour. “I think the girls felt a little bit of pressure — we haven’t talked about (500 wins), but I know they’ve been talking about it — and I think we played a little hesitant.”
“Kennedy did a great job, defensively; we only took six shots in the second quarter,” she added.
Koalas fans held signs with “500” written in baby blue following the win. Wooters received roses, and signed Guerra’s tournament packet as a momento. Ursuline even wrote “500” across its scorebook after the game.
The Gaels led by three possessions most of the second half, but Guerra’s clutch shooting pulled a Koalas team back from what seemed like an insurmountable lead.
Kennedy’s Kiera Hennessy (23 points) and Leah Greene (13 points) paced the offense, while virtually everyone contributed to what was lockdown defense for most of the game.