Ursuline coach Andrea Williams said her young basketball team goes “through a learning experience in every game.”
Her team, which starts three freshmen, passed another test Thursday night, defeating Riverdale 61-21 in a District 9-4A game at Ursuline.
Next week the Lions begin advance studies, facing two teams in The New Orleans Advocate’s Super 10, District 9-4A rivals Easton (No .2) and Cabrini (No. 5).
“I’m happy with where we are right now,” Williams said of her team’s 3-0 district record. “I see the growth from where we were to where we are now.
“I can see they’re starting to figure it out.”
Ursuline (11-10) took a while to figure things out Thursday but quickly pulled away to a 35-13 halftime lead and then used a 24-2 third quarter to erase any doubt about the outcome.
Kourtney Weber, one of Ursuline’s athletic young players, scored all of her game-high 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the first half. She played sparingly at the start of the third quarter.
Freshman guard Brooklyn Mitchell scored eight of her 18 points at the start of the third quarter and also retired to the bench.
Freshman point guard Ella Brown scored four points at the start of the third period, but had four key steals in the first half.
Riverdale (3-10, 0-2) trailed only 12-10 in the opening quarter. But offensive rebounds and put backs by Weber and Mitchell in the final 30 seconds made it 16-10 by quarter’s end.
Gabby Brown, Mitchell and Weber each scored inside as the Lions opened the second period with a 9-1 run and began dominating. Weber had two put backs and added a free throw after being fouled on the second.
Ursuline led 25-11.
“It’s a good feeling knowing you’ve got a young team with potential,” Williams said. “Every game becomes a buildup for the rest of the season.”
Juniors Brown and Allison Ulrich help stabilize Ursuline’s inexperience, especially on defense. The Lions forced 16 Riverdale turnovers and added 11 steals in the first half.
“The freshmen are talented, but they are still learning mentally what it takes to play on the high school level. The step-up (to high school) takes adjustments.”
Next week, powerful Warren Easton and Cabrini await.
“It will be a very good experience for kids this young,” she said. “Both teams are ranked high and are talented and experienced.
“It will be a great challenge for us, but I think it’s a challenge we will be ready for.”