Cabrini kicked its transition game into high gear at the beginning of the third quarter and ignited a 14-3 run that enabled the Crescents to pull away to a 57-45 victory against Ursuline on Tuesday night at Cabrini.
The win pulls Cabrini (18-4), the No. 5-ranked girls team in the New Orleans Advocate’s Super 10 poll, even with Ursuline in the District 9-4A standings. Both are 3-1 and trail Warren Easton, unbeaten in district.
After leading 24-17 at halftime, Cabrini began mixing its defenses and applying pressure on Usuline’s halfcourt offense. Steals and missed Ursuline shots quickly turned into baskets at the other end of the floor.
“The early turnovers (in the second half) gave (Cabrini) momentum,” Urusline coach Andrea Williams said. “Our girls played well. They are an experienced team, and they kicked it into gear.”
Both teams had key players in foul trouble near the end of the first half.
Cabrini senior Kyla Williams, in foul trouble, retired to the bench midway through the second period and then scored seven of the Crescents’ first nine points during the crucial run in the opening of the third period.
“Kyla brought us energy in the second half,” Cabrini Coach Nancy Walsh said. “She was effective in transition, gave us a big boost.”
Williams scored the third quarter’s first bucket underneath the basket after a Cabrini steal and fast break. In the first two minutes of the quarter, she added two more baskets in the lane and one free throw after being fouled on an inside shot.
Senior point guard Erin Temple scored 20 points, but her defense impressed Walsh more. Her pressure on Ursuline’s guards led to numerous steals, deflections or bad passes. Temple had four steals and a number of deflected passes.
“I know she ended up with 20,” Walsh said. “But, her defensive presence, her constant energy, was a difference tonight.”
Cabrini outrebounded the Lions 32-16. Rakell Spencer grabbed 14 rebounds and also scored 14 points for the Crescents.
“We’ve lost some games because of offensive rebounds (by opponents),” Walsh said. “We’ve been working on that. Tonight was better.”
Kourtney Weber, one of three freshmen starting for Ursuline, led all scorers with 23 points.
Ursuline trailed 20-17 late in the second quarter before Spencer and Temple broke away for easy layups and the 24-17 halftime lead.
“Having two starters get into four trouble near the end of the (first) half did not help us,” Williams said. “Our enthusiasm was good, but our inexperience showed.”
Walsh had her team pounce on the opportunity.
“I think we are one of the best conditioned teams in the city,” she said. “We had an opportunity and our girls responded and took advantage.”