Sunday, March 04, 2001

St. Ursula turns rankings to rubble

Colerain third straight top-10 team to fall

By John Schutte
Enquirer Contributor

        Sophomore guard Monica Naltner scored a career-high 27 points and had 10 rebounds and three blocked shots as St. Ursula upset Colerain 49-43 in a Division I district championship game Saturday at Cintas Center.

        The Cardinals, who were ranked No.5 in The Enquirer's Division I area coaches poll, were the third straight ranked team beaten by the Bulldogs. St. Ursula also beat No.4 Lakota West and No.8 Seton.

        St. Ursula advances to the regional finals Wednesday against Beavercreek, which beat Fairfield 50-40 Saturday.

        “I knew I had to step up today. Colerain has a nice team and Quanita Hailey is a strong player,” Naltner said. “I felt really good today, but offense was not the question. We've been playing well offensively all year.”

        After being tied 21-21 at halftime, St. Ursula took control in the final 3:43 of the third quarter. The Bulldogs went on a 9-2 run and never trailed in the fourth. Naltner hit two field goals and a free throw in the span, and Kristy Mahon ended the quarter with a 3-pointer.

        “Mahon's 3 was huge,” St.Ursula coach Tim Ballinger said. “You could see it took a lot out of Colerain.”

        The Bulldogs maintained their lead in the fourth quarter with solid defense and clutch free throws. Colerain cut St. Ursula's lead to six points with 3:17 remaining, but Mahon made three of four free throws to push the lead to nine.

        “There were four keys to the game for us: Monica had a monster game; Mahon controlled the floor at point; we hit our free throws, and the league we play in prepares us for these games,” Ballinger said.

        ST. URSULA (49) - Schroeder 0 2 2, Grogan 3 1 7, Connaughton 1 0 2, Naltner 10 7 27, Mahon 2 5 11. Totals: 16 15 49.

        COLERAIN (43) - Hailey 7 5 19, Croxton 3 0 6, Haggard 1 0 2, Wessel 1 0 3, Mahler 4 2 10, Bankston 1 0 3. Totals: 17 7 43.

        St. Ursula ....... 10 11 16 12 49

        Colerain ....... 8 13 9 13 43

        3-pointers: SU-Mahon 2. C-Wessel, Bankston. Records SU 12-11, C 19-5.

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