Notre Dame Girls Top Rival Louisville, 51-32

Like the saying goes, "What goes around, comes around."

And it came around and smacked Brian O'Hara and his Louisville High Royals like a Mike Tyson right hand Thursday night at Notre Dame.

Louisville, which has won or shared five consecutive league titles, twice defeated Notre Dame last season by lopsided scores--once by 60 points. But this time the Lady Knights returned the favor, romping to a 51-32 San Fernando Valley League victory.

"This is nice. This is very nice. It's a tremendous monkey off our backs," Notre Dame Coach Rob Dimuro said. "The games last year were over in the first two minutes. This win puts us right back in it."

Notre Dame (7-8 overall) improved to 2-3 in league play. Louisville (8-9 overall) fell to 2-2.

The writing was on the wall early for Louisville. Said one sign hanging in the gym: "Welcome to your worst Knight-mare."

And it was a bad dream for the Royals, who missed 14 of their first 15 shots, fell behind, 7-2, after one period and were down, 26-8, at halftime.

Said O'Hara of the first period: "It was not one of our prettier quarters but at least we played good defense. After that, we forgot everything we worked on."

Louisville got as close as 13 points in the third period, but Notre Dame, led by center Andrea Banducci, pulled away again in the fourth quarter.

Banducci, who scored one point in two games against Louisville last year, made 7 of 11 field-goal attempts and scored a game-high 24 points. She also had 15 rebounds.

Three Royals fouled out, and Louisville made just 27% of its field-goal attempts and was outrebounded, 46-26. Becky Long led the Royals with 13 points.

Denise Da Corsi came off the bench to make 11 of 12 free throws, score 17 points and grab 6 rebounds for Notre Dame.

"I don't wear hats, but I'd take it off to Notre Dame if I had one," O'Hara said. "They did a great job.

"They needed this game tremendously."

Said Dimuro: "I knew we were probably going to explode one of these nights. This was it.

"One of our kids looked at the scoreboard and saw we were ahead, 20-5, and was shocked."

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