Fitch defense, Hunter lead Falcons past Ursuline

Tribune Chronicle / Brian Yauger Austintown Fitch’s Sabrina Hunter shoots a free throw during the Falcons game against Ursuline.

AUSTINTOWN — Ursuline’s Dayshanette Harris is one of the area’s more prolific guards. Austintown Fitch knew that coming into Wednesday’s game and needed something to counteract the University of Pittsburgh signee.

Falcon senior Sabria Hunter, a West Point signee, had 33 points to neutralize Ursuline as Fitch beat the Fighting Irish, 62-52.

“I’m proud of the way we played,” Falcons coach Dan Schnurrenberger said. “Obviously we needed to contain Dayshanette Harris. She’s a great player, one of the best point guards in the state of Ohio. I thought our girls did a good job contesting, and I’m more proud of how they rebounded the basketball tonight. It was a team effort. Defensively, they worked hard and when you work hard and play together good things happen.”

Hunter’s 33-point game is just shy of her career high of 36 points. She shot 11 of 18 from the free throw line, and her strong paint presence gained her another 22 points.

“It’s a confidence booster,” Hunter said. “Playing against a team that good in the area and keeping up, it just feels good. Hard work pays off, I couldn’t have done it without my team. I’m proud of the way that we’re playing. We love each other, and it shows on the court and we plan on keeping it up. We show spurts of what we’re capable, but we have to work on being consistent. I think we’re capable of much more than what we did tonight.”

Fitch’s Jada Lazaro put up 12 points and juked through defenders at every turn — a key reason Hunter scored 33.

“She does a good job of controlling the game,” Schnurrenberger said. “She runs the offense, and I’m proud of the way she ran it tonight.”

Daria Williams had a seven-point fourth quarter and finished the night with a total of 10.

Ursuline’s offense ran through the duo of Harris and Cara McNally. The pair scored all but six of the Fighting Irish’s points with Harris netting 28 and McNally putting up 18.

Ursuline heads to Akron on Saturday for an afternoon battle against St. Vincent-St. Mary.

The Falcons host Cardinal Mooney on Dec. 15, starting at 2:30 p.m.

“We’ve got about 10 days off so we’re going to get some rest here,” Schnurrenberger said. “Mooney is playing pretty well. They beat Boardman the other night and we got a chance to see that. Mooney plays hard and rebounds well. We’ll have to play a tough basketball game to win that one.”