Harrison Holds on to Defeat Ursuline in Holiday Classic

MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Harrison girls’ basketball coach Louis Kail had plenty to celebrate Wednesday night. Not only did his team win its first game of the season, the first-year coach won his first game ever at the varsity level.

And his team’s attitude was a major reason for the win. “They showed their composure, which helped me stay composed,” Kail said.

The Huskies defeated Ursuline B, 44-40, on Wednesday at Mamaroneck High School in the first round of the 15th Annual Holiday Classic. Harrison will play the winner of Wednesday’s second game between Fieldston and Mamaroneck at 8 p.m. Friday in the championship, while Ursuline will face the loser in the consolation game at 6 p.m.

Ursuline kept the game close in the fourth quarter, but that was just fine with Kail.

“For any team to win a close game for their first game, it’s always a good thing,” Kail said.

Sophomore Paige Brabant made a crucial free throw with :20 remaining to give Harrison a 42-38 lead. Still, Ursuline had hope.

Coach Kathleen Kern drew up a play in which Lindsay Bettke, who led the team with 17 points, including five three-pointers, was supposed to come through the defense and fire a three-pointer. But Marie Bernacchia was open outside the arc, and the ball went into her hands.

Her shot was off the mark, though, and Harrison made two more free throws to ice the game.

“I was very proud of my team for the comeback, but I felt as though we never should have been in that position to begin with,” Kern said.

As for Brabant’s free throws, the sophomore said she did not want to get in her own way.

“I was just trying to stay calm and not overthink it too much,” Brabant said.

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