The Walsh Jesuit High School girls basketball team experienced both ends of the spectrum recently, as the Lady Warriors posted a 22-point victory and a 26-point defeat.
The victory took the form of a 70-48 trouncing of Firestone at home Dec. 1. The defeat was a 69-43 loss at the hands of defending Division I state champion Twinsburg on the road Dec. 5.
Both games were non-conference contests for Walsh Jesuit. With that split of games, the Lady Warriors' record now stands at 3-1.
Walsh jumped on Firestone right away, building a 22-8 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Lady Warriors were on top 47-18 at intermission.
According to Walsh Jesuit head coach Pete Zaccari, his squad wasn't able to maintain that rampant pace during the third and fourth quarters.
"We played well early in the game, but seemed to lose some focus and intensity in the second half," said Zaccari. "We're discovering areas where we need to improve. Overall, I'm pleased with the start of the season, but we have some big tests coming up."
Senior guard Jessa Gilberto paced Walsh Jesuit in the scoring department with 20 points. Junior guard Rachel Keough and senior guard Regina Bandwen were also in double digits with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Also cracking the scoring column for the Lady Warriors were sophomore guard/forward Lilli Piper (eight points), senior forward Sophia Simone (seven points) and sophomore Riley Ries (four points).
Bandwen knocked down three three-pointers, while Keough nailed two treys and Gilberto added one.
With the loss, Firestone fell to 0-2 on the season.
Walsh Jesuit also captured the junior varsity contest, easily prevailing by the score of 47-13.
However, the Lady Warriors met their match in Twinsburg, the two-time defending Division I state champion, one of the "big tests" to which Zaccari alluded.
In what was a case of role reversal, it was Walsh Jesuit that found itself in the hole early, as the Lady Tigers led 39-13 at halftime.
The Lady Warriors made up a lot of ground in the third quarter, outscoring Twinsburg 19-6. As a result, they only trailed 45-32 entering the final frame.
The Lady Tigers regained the momentum in the fourth quarter, though, solidifying their lead and eventually clinching the victory.
Gilberto led the way for Walsh Jesuit with 12 points, while Keough produced 10 points and Simone contributed eight markers.
Piper added seven points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
Ashley Morrissette was at the forefront of Twinsburg's attack, collecting 18 points, eight assists, five rebounds, four steals and two blocks.
With the win, the Lady Tigers remained undefeated with a ledger of 4-0.
On Dec. 8, Walsh Jesuit was set to play its first game in the Blue Division of the North Coast League against Padua Franciscan, but results were not available at press time.
On Dec. 12, the Lady Warriors will host arch rival Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.