JOHN CURTIS 38, MOUNT CARMEL 33
at Mount Carmel, Thursday (Jan. 16), Catholic League (District 9-5A)
Records: John Curtis, 15-3 (2-0); Mount Carmel, 18-5 (2-1)
HOW THE GAME WAS WON: 3 KEY MOMENTS
- It was a tight game as expected between arguably the Catholic League’s top two teams, and a late run by the Patriots helped them overcome a sluggish start. The Patriots trailed 27-24 going into the last eight minutes, but started the fourth quarter on an 11-2 run that proved to be the difference in the game. A short floater in the lane by Tulane signee Jerkaila Jordan gave Curtis a 31-29 lead with 4:59 left in the game. They eventually extended their lead to 35-29 before a free throw by Mt. Carmel’s Abby Barbaro stopped the run with 1:38 left in the game, but that didn’t give the Cubs enough time to mount a comeback.
- Curtis began to look a bit more like itself in the third quarter outscoring Mt. Carmel 10-8. Jerkaila Jordan put in her first field goal of the game with 3:16 left in the third cutting the deficit to 23-22, and eighth-grader Heaven Jordan soon followed with another bucket that gave the Patriots their first lead since scoring the first basket of the game. Mt. Carmel was able to regroup, though, with Taylor Wilkins and Abby Barbaro scoring the last four points of the quarter to put the Cubs on top 27-24 heading into the final quarter.
- Mt. Carmel controlled the action through the first half with a scrappy defensive effort forcing Curtis into 12 turnovers. They led for essentially the entire first half, but could never really put away from the Patriots as multiple five-point advantages were their largest lead. The Cubs eventually led by as much as 23-16 in the third quarter before Curtis began to work its way back into the game.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jane Wright, John Curtis
With Curtis’ top player Jerkaila Jordan a bit under the weather, Wright stepped up to help the Patriots secure a much-needed win. She was third on the team in scoring with 7 points, but did so on minimal shot attempts going 3-for-4. The 5-foot-7 senior’s impact in other areas of the game was what stood out the most, though, as she posted team-highs in rebounds and assists with eight and three, and if there was a hustle play to be made, Wright was there to get the job done more times than not.
- Curtis and Mt. Carmel appear to be the top contenders in the Catholic League once again. While it’s still very early, neither had a district loss until tonight. The Patriots defeated Chapelle, 56-18, in their 9-5A opener while the Cubs beat Chapelle, 39-12, on Monday after taking down Dominican, 42-38, in a competitive contest January 9 at Dominican. Curtis and MCA will meet again February 3 at the Patriots’ gym.
- Neither team could get going from 3-point range with Curtis going 0-for-4 while Mt. Carmel went 0-for-11. Overall, the Patriots had the better day from the field going 15-of-39 from the field and 8-of-12 at the free throw line while Mt. Carmel was 14-of-47 from the floor and 5-of-10 at the stripe.
- Curtis has now won three straight games after back-to-back losses against LaGrange, 57-42, in the Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic Platinum bracket title game, and against Lee, 73-47, in a non-district contest on the road.
- Mt. Carmel had its four-game win streak snapped with Thursday’s loss to Curtis. The Cubs had won 13 of their previous 14 games heading into the matchup with the only defeat coming to Huntington, 59-45, in the Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic Gold bracket semifinals.
John Curtis coach Barbara Farris: “I wish I could get a billboard that said ‘eventually someone else (other than Jerkaila Jordan) is going to have to do something.’ I think it speaks to the work that they’re putting in everyday. We rely on (Jordan) to carry a lot of the burden for us offensively, but we have other players that can do great things. It’s just a matter of us breathing confidence into that and them stepping up and contributing.
They’re a very good team so we’re just trying to get better and learn something from every game. But having these opportunities to execute at the end of games with eighth-graders and freshman on the floor, I think they’re showing a lot of poise and composure and I think that’s going to bode well for us in the playoffs.”
Mt. Carmel coach Jamie Thomatis: “We just really stalled out (offensively) in the second half. We only had about five turnovers in the first half and we more than doubled that in the third quarter alone. We knew eventually Jerkaila (Jordan) was going to get going (after a scoreless first half), and we knew once she got going the rest would come along because she’s the veteran leader and just a phenomenal player. It was really a tale of two halves for both teams.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
John Curtis | 8 | 6 (14) | 10 (24) | 14 – 38
Mount Carmel | 11 | 8 (19) | 8 (27) | 6 – 33
John Curtis: Jerkaila Jordan, 10; Alexis Laverene, 9; Jane Wright, 7; Jania Holmes, 4; Jordan Barfield, 2; Terren Coffil, 2; Hailey Schreiber, 2; Heaven Jordan, 2.
Mount Carmel: Taylor Wilkins, 8; Taylor Haggard, 7; Miranda Strassel, 5; Addison Prince, 4; Amelia Troutman, 4; Abby Barbaro, 3; Rebecca Quick, 2.
Up Next: Curtis will be back on the court Saturday on the road against McKinley at noon for a non-district game. Mt. Carmel will also step out of league play to take on Karr Tuesday at 6 p.m. on the road.