ALEXANDRIA — Shooting down second-seeded Ursuline Academy was the goal for Lee Magnet High. Poor shooting, title-game MVP Kourtney Weber and the experience of the Lions was the wrong combination.
Weber had game highs of 30 points and 11 rebounds. She powered an 18-3 first-quarter run that propelled Ursuline to a 70-43 victory over Lee in the Division II title game.
“I felt that my team came out flat at the beginning of the game … just nervous jitters that come with a young team,” Lee coach Valencia Wilson said. “We came out in the third quarter like we normally play. At that point, it was just a little too late.
“Kourtney Weber had an outstanding game. She is an outstanding player. That is a great team. (Ursuline) is well- coached. But I believe we will be back.”
The game that was part of Friday’s action at the LHSAA girls basketball tournament illustrated the differences youth and experience. Ursuline (24-3) won its second LHSAA title in three years with a senior-oriented group led by Weber, a 5-foot-10 Florida State signee who missed last season with a knee injury. Giordin Johnson (14 points) and Kiersten Nelson (11) also led the winners.
Weber made 11 of 16 shots from the field, including 4 of 5 3-pointers. Lee’s frigid shooting from the field in the first quarter gave the Lions the only opening they needed at Rapides Parish Coliseum.
“They did everything I asked,” Ursuline coach Andrea Williams said. “To be able to look up and see that the score was 18-3 — I couldn’t have asked for better execution on offense. I told them ‘Once you put them away, they can’t come back.’ ”
The story was different for Wilson’s young Lee team with only one senior. Diamond Hunter scored 10 second-half points and led the fourth-seeded Patriots (26-9) with 17 points.
Reagan Williams scored nine of her 10 points in the second half. Lee made 17 of 70 shots from the field (24.3 percent) and just 5 of 15 free throws (33.3 percent).
The nightmare first quarter developed quickly with Weber playing a lead role. She scored eight first-quarter points as the Lions scored the first 14 points.
Hunter had the Patriots' lone field goal in the first quarter. By halftime, Ursuline’s lead had morphed to 35-11. Lee came out firing and scored the first seven points of the second half but struggled to get the margin under 20 points.
A year after advancing to the semifinals for the first time, the Patriots had a runner-up trophy. Wilson made it clear she wants more.
“The beauty of it for me is that we will return all but one player,” Wilson said. “We’ll get back at it and work.”