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Girls Win; Seek State Title Saturday

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THE LIVE AUDIO DEPICTION OF SATURDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP GAME WILL BE STREAMED LIVE ON THIS WEBSITE; THE RIGHTS TO THE VIDEO BROADCAST ARE OWNED BY NFHSNETWORK.COM

The John Curtis Lady Patriots defeated Dominican, 42-29, to advance to Saturday’s Select Division I Championship game on the SLU campus in Hammond.  The game will tip off at 6:00 p.m.

After trailing 9-2 early and 18-17 at halftime, Curtis took the lead in the third quarter and pulled away by outscoring their in-town opponent, 15-5, in the last eight minutes.

The Lady Patriots, carrying the #1 seed, will play McKinley, the #2 seeded team, for the championship.  McKinley ran away from Scotlandville, 55-34, in Thursday’s second semifinal.  McKinley (coincidentally also the boys’ opponent in Friday night’s quarterfinals) blew out both of their playoff opponents, preceding the win over Scotlandville by walloping Mt. Carmel, 59-33, in the quarterfinals.

From NOLA.com:

John Curtis 42, Dominican 29: Patriots defense puts hammer down in second half

 

By Jim Derry, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
on March 02, 2017 5:14 PM

HAMMOND – Having walloped Dominican by a combined 74 points in their first two meetings, John Curtis knew going against their Catholic League rivals for a third time would be much tougher.

However, they didn’t expect what came their way at the University Center on Thursday.

Trailing as late as two minutes into the third quarter, the Patriots stepped up their defensive pressure and stymied Dominican over the final 14 minutes to win 42-29 and advance to the Division I championship game here on Saturday against the McKinley-Scotlandville winner.

“The defense has been our lifeline, so I told them shots would fall in the second half. We’re such a young team, and the coaches need to keep reminding me,” Curtis coach Barbara Farris said. “Still, they are so poised and they’re buying in, and they just trust the process.

“Eventually, if you’re the better-conditioned team, their shots aren’t going to fall as easy in the fourth quarter. When you step up the defensive intensity, the pressure tightens up, and maybe they don’t step into that shot so easily.”

And after Dominican (24-9) made seven of 15 field-goal attempts in the first half, they were able to covert on just three of 21 in the second half, including one of 14 in the fourth quarter.

“We didn’t change anything from (the first two times they played one another),” Dominican sophomore Ahjah Yunusah said. “We’re the same team. We played hard, and we came out and played our best this time. We knew we had to play good defense, and we really wanted to win today.”

Conversely, Curtis (30-2) went from shooting 22.2 percent from the field in the first 16 minutes to just under 50 percent in the second half. They also committed just five turnovers all game.

Freshman Jerkalia Jordan played like she didn’t know there was supposed to be pressure this time of year – scoring 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting with a game-high 10 rebounds and four steals. Curtis junior Dynah Jones scored eight points with seven rebounds and three blocks

“I had to keep going, and not dwell on the last shot,” Jones said. “We picked it up in the second half. We’re a strong team, so I didn’t have any doubt we would lose this game. I knew we would pick it up on defense.”

One thing to take into consideration for the Patriots most teams in other classifications didn’t have to deal with was the time off. Other than playing their quarterfinals matchup last Friday, they hadn’t played since their regular-season finale against Mt. Carmel on Feb. 9.

“It’s hard because we have another component being in New Orleans with Mardi Gras and people in parades and on floats,” Farris said. “During the school day, we could get some boys who aren’t playing baseball or basketball to come and recreate the speed we need to help us, but with Mardi Gras break and fighting crowds and having to go so early each day, it made it hard.

“It doesn’t justify, but maybe it explains the lackluster first half on both of our parts. I’m sure a number of those Dominican players are Debs or are on courts or are in parades. It’s a factor, and the LHSAA didn’t want that, but it definitely played into our lackluster showing in the first half. We can work with that, but at the end of the day, we’re still playing for the state championship on Saturday, so no more excuses – we just have to play and execute.”

(1) JOHN CURTIS 42, (4) DOMINICAN 29

Dominican (24-9) scoring (10-36 FG shooting, 27.8 percent): Laynie Tierney 2 (1-8), Ahjah Yunusah 11 (2-8), Kylie Barré 5 (2-7), Caitlin Sullivan 4 (2-4), Adelia Obioha 7 (3-6, team-high 10 rebounds).

John Curtis (30-2) scoring (12-35 FG shooting, 34.3 percent): Dynah Jones 8 (4-14), Salma Bates 1 (0-0), Dajha Virgil 5 (0-1), Alaan West 4 (1-3), Jerkalia Jordan 19 (6-13, team-high 10 rebounds), Maya Washington 2 (1-3), Breione Brown 3 (0-1).

Score by quarters: Dominican 12-7 (1st); Dominican 18-17 (2nd); Curtis 27-24 (3rd)

 

From the Advocate

Jordan leads way as Curtis pulls away from Dominican in fourth quarter

 

  • MAR 2, 2017 – 4:26 PM

 

HAMMOND — Sometimes, John Curtis coach Barbara Farris has to remind herself that Jerkalia Jordan is only 14-years-old.

The guard didn’t look the part of a freshman in her first LHSAA girls state tournament game Thursday.

Jordan finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds to help No. 1 Curtis pull away from No. 4 Dominican for a 42-29 victory in the Division I semifinals.

The Patriots (30-2) advance to Saturday’s 6 p.m. championship game to play No. 2 McKinley, which beat Scotlandville in the other semifinal.

Jordan shot 7 of 11 from the floor and also had four steals.

“Sometime I have to put a mirror under her nose to make sure she has a pulse,” Farris said. “I tell her, ‘the more people figure out that maybe you’re a pretty good player, they are probably going to put some extra attention on you and you’re going to have to step up and match that intensity.’

It was Curtis’ third win over Dominican this season.

This one wasn’t as one-sided as other two when Curtis rolled 65-27 and 51-15.

Curtis found itself clinging to just a 27-24 lead after three quarters before outscoring Dominican 15-5 in the fourth.

“I definitely think we came alive in the second half,” Farris said.

Dominican (24-9), playing in the semifinals for the first time since 2005, sprinted out to a 9-2 lead and led 18-17 at halftime.

“We knew we had a tough assignment ahead of us, having played them twice and them handling us pretty good,” Dominican coach Ryan Reuter said. “We couldn’t have had a first half that went better for us. We didn’t give them any fast break layups, we controlled the tempo of the game and we got the ball into our post players, which is the strength of our team.  And we handled the pressure. So everything we said we needed to do coming into the game, that’s what we did.”

But it still wasn’t quite enough.

Dominican made just 3 of 21 shots in the second half, including 1 of 14 in the final quarter.

“The defense has been our lifeline,” Farris said. “We are a very young team, and my assistants have to keep reminding me of that. But they are so poised, and they trust the process.”

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