(1) JOHN CURTIS 48, (2) MT. CARMEL 25
at John Curtis (Lower School), Saturday (Mar. 7), Division I Championship
Records: John Curtis, 27-4; Mt. Carmel, 24-8
HOW THE GAME WAS WON: 3 KEY MOMENTS
- After a slow start by both teams in an incredibly charged atmosphere, John Curtis asserted its will in the second quarter and never looked back. To no one’s surprise, it was the newly crowned Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year Jerkaila Jordan leading the way as she found her rhythm with 11 second-quarter points after scoring just two in the first. Jordan was the fuel for a 19-0 run that spanned essentially the entire quarter as Curtis turned a 9-6 deficit into a 25-9 lead after a steal and layup by Jordan’s younger sister, Heaven Jordan, with just under 15 seconds left before halftime.
- Mt. Carmel was able to be a bit more disruptive in the third quarter holding Curtis to just nine points, but they could never string together enough buckets to pose a threat scoring just seven points in the period. The Cubs got within 25-15 early in the third after back-to-back buckets by Miranda Strassel and Amelia Troutman, but Curtis went on to score nine of the game’s next 10 points to regain complete control.
- The fourth quarter was primarily a celebration for the sizable crowd on-hand as Curtis entered the last eight minutes up 34-18. That lead soon grew to 43-18 just before the midpoint of the quarter and Curtis coasted the rest of the way to their fourth straight Division I championship victory.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jerkaila Jordan, John Curtis
Jordan fittingly went out with a bang locking up her fourth straight Division I Most Outstanding Player award. The Tulane signee and Louisiana 2019-20 Gatorade Player of the Year nearly outscored Mt. Carmel by herself scoring 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting including 1-of-2 from long range and 2-of-2 at the free throw line.
She did most of her damage in the second quarter scoring 11 of Curtis’ 19 points as they began to pull away, and she also added six rebounds, four steals and two assists to her stat line as well. Jordan’s basketball career is just getting started, but she’s well on track to be one of the best players to ever come out of the state of Louisiana.
- It was the first season of the select schools hosting championships in their own building, and while the decision will certainly get mixed reviews for various reasons, there’s no denying the atmosphere was an incredible one. It was a standing-room only crowd that was loud and exuberant from the tip, and the game certainly felt different than any other I’ve been to over nearly a decade of attending games at Curtis’ lower school gym.
- Saturday was the third time the two Catholic League rivals squared off this season with the Patriots taking all three matchups. A young Curtis team was still looking to find itself during the first matchup winning, 38-33, at MCA on January 16. The second game, however, resembled Saturday’s outcome with the Patriots taking down the Cubs, 54-30 on their home court on February 3. Jordan put up 29 in the second game between the two teams and just 10 in the first meeting as she was a bit under the weather.
- Both teams have a chance to be contenders next year as Curtis graduates just two seniors in Jerkaila Jordan and Jane Wright while Mt. Carmel will return its entire roster.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Mt. Carmel | 6 | 5 (11) | 7 (18) | 7 – 25
John Curtis | 6 | 19 (25) | 9 (34) | 14 – 48
Mt. Carmel: Taylor Wilkins 8; Miranda Strassel, 8; Taylor Haggard, 4; Rebecca Quick, 2; Amelia Troutman, 2; Bailey Schexnaildre, 1.
John Curtis: Jerkaila Jordan, 23; Alexis Lavarine, 6; Jane Wright, 5; Heaven Jordan, 4; Terren Coffil, 4; Jania Holmes, 4; Hailey Schreiber, 2.