BRANDYWINE HUNDRED – For the players that make up top-ranked Ursuline’s bench, the directive from head coach John Noonan is clear.
“He tells us to just do our job and not worry about making mistakes,” said junior guard Allie Olmstead, part of a 32-point effort by the reserves that helped Ursuline roll to a 71-37 win over 6th-ranked Concord on Tuesday night. “We’re just there to do what we have to do.”
“We shot the ball well and some kids came in and did some nice things for us, so I think that rejuvenated us,” Noonan said. “We’ve picked up the intensity and now it’s time to really dial in.”
The Raiders, who finished the regular season 19-1 and 12-0 against Delaware teams, got off to a sizzling start behind junior guard Maggie Connolly, who led the team in scoring with 16 point, as well as a spirited effort from sophomore forward Kayonour Wulah, who fired in four long jumpers for nine points.
“Kay’s playing with an injury right now, but she’s got this amazing heart and motor,” Noonan explained. “Her chances have been limited, but these last four or five games, she’s showing the potential we see in her. You can’t help but root for a kid like that.”
“If I’m open, I’m going to shoot. That’s the bottom line,” said Wulah, who banked in a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to give Ursuline a 36-14 lead at the half. “I just did my best.”
Ursuline drilled eight 3-pointers in the game and 11 players scored at least two points, showcasing their depth and a renewed commitment to getting shots off.
“I think recently, we haven’t gotten enough shots off from beyond the arc, so that’s been our goal,” Connolly said. “It was big for Allie, Lindsay [Brown] and Kay to hit those shots.”
For Concord head coach John Armstrong, the game was more about what Ursuline did right than what his team did wrong.
“They’re well coached and they’re the No. 1 team in the state. They proved that tonight,” Armstrong said. “This is a learning experience for us. This is where you grow from this. If you understand what they’re doing and what you have to do to get better. Hopefully we learned something tonight.”
Zhan’e Snow led Concord and all scorers with 18 points and Jamiyah Dennis added 11 for Flight A champion Concord, who finished the regular season 16-3.