Seeking 5th straight District crown, Ursuline will be inexperienced

The Irish begin 2017-18 at Lake.

Ursuline Irish high school basketball

2017-18 Ursuline Boys’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Keith Gunther
Record: 19-8

More:High School Basketball previews from other teams

The Good News
Ursuline has won 18 plus games in each of the last four years. The Irish has accumulated a 79-30 record (72.5%) during that stretch. Coach Keith Gunther indicates, “Our guard play will be our strength. They have speed and (have displayed good) shooting.” At 6’3 Devan Keevey will be a player to keep an eye on from his wing position. Others who should see significant playing time this year are junior Luke Pipala, Robert Clark, Ethan Courtney, Brajon Nuby, Robert Clark, Vincent Armeni, Sean Phillips and Daysean Harris.

2017-18 Schedule
Dec. 1 – at Lake, 7
Dec. 15 – South Range, 7
Dec. 16 – vs. Holy Name (at Hoover)
Dec. 19 – at Lake Catholic, 7
Dec. 22 – at Fitch, 7
Dec. 23 – at Canton Central Catholic, 7
Dec. 28 – at Sharon Holiday Tournament
Dec. 29 – at Sharon Holiday Tournament
Jan. 2 – at Warren JFK, 7
Jan. 5 – Mooney, 7
Jan. 12 – at South Range, 7:30
Jan. 16 – Canton Central Catholic, 7
Jan. 19 – at St. Vincent-St. Mary, 7:30
Jan. 20 – Buchtel, 7
Jan. 23 – at Lake Central Christian, 7:30
Jan. 27 – at East, 7
Feb. 2 – at Mooney, 7:30
Feb. 6 – at St. Thomas Aquinas, 7
Feb. 13 – Fitch, 7
Feb. 16 – Harding, 7
Feb. 20 – Hoban, 7

Challenges
The Irish return just two letter winners after graduating eight lettermen which included the likes of Anthony Howell, Anise Algahmee, Dakota Hobbs and Vince Venzio. “Our weakness lies in the fact that we’ll have the lack of experience,” says coach Gunther. “We’ll be playing two seniors, two juniors and five sophomores with none of those players getting any major playing time last year.”

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 59.3% (146-100)
Playoff Record: 32-10
Sectional Championships: 8 (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
District Championships: 6 (2008, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

2016-17 Results
Cleveland Central Catholic 76 Irish 52*
Irish 70 Salem 33 *
Irish 62 Girard 53*
Irish 39 Mooney 37*
Irish 68 Southeast 53*
Hoban 61 Irish 49
Irish 59 Perry 56
Harding 46 Irish 43
Irish 57 Campbell Memorial 34
Irish 58 Erie Cathedral Prep 50
Irish 53 St. Thomas Aquinas 50
Irish 80 Mooney 52
Irish 55 Canton Central Catholic 48
Massillon 77 Irish 59
Irish 76 East 74 OT
Brunswick 39 Irish 37
Irish 40 Mooney 25
Irish 76 Lake Catholic 64
Irish 61 Howland 56
Irish 74 First Christian 61
Warren JFK 70 Irish 59
Irish 60 Lutheran East 57
Benedictine 69 Irish 51
Irish 54 Fitch 38
St. Vincent-St. Mary 72 Irish 55
Irish 76 Coventry 72 OT
Irish 42 Lake 40
*-Playoff

AP Rankings (Last 10 years)
Last Top 10 ranking: D3 #8 on February 23, 2015
Rankings Since Jan. 2008: 7
Last game vs. Top 10 team: vs. #3 St. Vincent-St. Mary, 67-52, loss on March 10, 2016
Record vs. Top 10 teams since Jan. 2010: 2-8

Key Number
The Fighting Irish are seeking their fifth straight District Championship this season.

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