ALEXANDRIA – From the opening tip, it was clear who the more dominant team was.
John Curtis coasted its way to its third-straight Division I title as it defeated fellow Catholic League river Mount Carmel 55-24.
“From the opening tip to end, I just saw a different team that just had a singular focus and focus while they were on the floor – that they were going to execute the game plan,” Lady Patriots coach Barbara Farris said. “They were talking with each other, reading and responding to the flow of how the officials were calling the game. That’s really what any coach can hope and dream for – players that can coach and manage each other on the court.”
That communication enabled the Lady Patriots to commit just 12 turnovers to the Cubs’ 25, as they shot 46 percent from the floor and grabbed 12 offensive rebounds.
For the third-straight year, Curtis junior Jerkaila Jordan earned Most Valuable Player honors for the title game as she made an impact on both ends of the floor with 24 points, six rebounds and four steals.
Mt. Carmel had a hard time getting its offense going in the first half and once it did in the third quarter, the game was all but over.
The Cubs shot 9 for 31 in the contest and made just 3 of their 13 shots in the first half – facing a 23-6 deficit at halftime.
That was our halftime speech and maybe a speech during a timeout,” Mt. Carmel coach Jamie Thomatis said. “I said, ‘You don’t want to go down 20 points to a team like this. There is no coming back. They’re too skilled and physical that if you didn’t hold, it was going to be an insurmountable effort.’
For seniors Salma Bates and Abryhia Irons, winning a third-consecutive title was as special as it was emotional.
“What Coach Barbara taught us, she’s prepared us for when we go to college and further down,” Irons said. “These last four years have been a blessing.”