STRUTHERS - All Ursuline needed was one more attempt.
LaBrae was called for traveling with 1.8 seconds remaining at the Struthers Field House in the fourth of five games of the Hope Classic: High School Basketball Showcase charity event.
Ursuline's Preston Williams found Desmond McElroy on the inbound on the left wing. McElroy let go a 3-pointer that clanked out to preserve LaBrae's 52-50 victory.
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
LaBrae’s Peyton Aldridge (10) drives to the hoop and takes his shot but Ursuline’s Kevin Jackson (30) gets a hand on the ball and deflects it during first-quarter action.
"That's all we needed, one more," said Ursuline coach Keith Gunther, whose team drops to 0-3.
LaBrae 6-foot-7 junior guard/forward Peyton Aldridge made the most of his opportunities, making two free throws with 30.2 seconds left to put the Vikings (2-0) up 52-48.
"You have to settle down with deep breaths and knock them down," Aldridge said.
He was 5 of 5 from the foul line.
"He never gets rattled," LaBrae coach Chad Kiser said of the junior who played all but a few seconds for the Vikings.
Aldridge had 16 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for the Vikings.
"He's not going to force up a shot," Kiser said. "Sometimes he's too unselfish. There are times we have to tell him to make sure he takes over and shoots.
"He sees the floor at all times. He's going to find the open guy. We have to make sure our guys are ready."
Ursuline's Ryan Strollo, who only had eight points, missed a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left, but redeemed himself with a banked in 8-foot jumper to cut the lead to 52-50 with 19.4 seconds remaining.
However, Ursuline was 3 of 20 from the floor in the second quarter and 1 of 9 from behind the arc. For the game, the Irish were 21 of 65 from the floor and 6 of 29 from 3-point range.
"We missed a lot of shots in the first half," Gunther said. "We had a lot of offensive rebounds, but still couldn't put the ball in the bucket."
Ursuline outrebounded LaBrae, 32-30. Khallid Pierce had 12 rebounds to pace the Irish, who had a good outing defending Aldridge.
"He did a great job defensively on Peyton," Gunther said. "I thought his effort is unbelievable. About mid-January, he'll start getting his feel. He won't be just a rebounder. He'll be able to put the ball in the bucket."
"He's a big, strong kid," Aldridge said. "He's quick and full of energy. Coming off the bench, he was a good defender and a great rebounder."
As for LaBrae, it was 19 of 40 from the floor and 5 of 17 from 3. Carl Brown had 15 points, while John Richards added 11. Richards and Tyler Shiamone each had two 3s.
"I believe we have some of the best shooters in the league," Aldridge said. "John Richards and Kenny Hall are great shooters around the arc. It really spreads the defense when you have them around there."
Overall, LaBrae learned a lot from Saturday's game.
"At this time of the year, you're working on sets to get better fundamentally sound, both offensively and defensively," Kiser said. "As you get more into the year, you get better. This was a good test for us early for us to learn."
"It's a great test early on to know where we are. We'll get back at it and keep working," Aldridge said.