John Curtis whips Kenwood to win Sugar Bowl girls platinum final
WESTWEGO, La. – After falling one step short of the championship of the 2017 Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic, the defending Division I state champion John Curtis Lady Patriots were determined to finish what they could not finish a year ago in the eighth annual event.
Curtis completed its goal, defeating Kenwood High of Chicago, Illinois 57-36 in the title game Saturday evening at The Alario Center.
Former Tulane and WNBA star Barbara Farris, newly inducted into the Allstate Sugar Bowl Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame, was pleased to take the final step in the event sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
“We were determined to finish what we were not able to do last year,” Farris said. “We have had that as a goal since last year and starting this year. This is a very good tournament with a great sponsor with a lot of excellent teams so to win here was special for us.”
Sophomore Jerkalia Jordan pumped in 24 points and pulled down four rebounds to lead the Lady Patriots and was named the tournament Most Valuable Player and did a fine job on Broncos center Tamara Nard.
“We watched them and we noticed that she turns over her left shoulder so we just had to keep her off that side,” Jordan said. “We were boxing out a lot to rebound and our coach stressed that we play good defense. That’s what we try to focus on the most, boxing out and defending.”
Curtis came out with great defensive intensity, forcing six turnovers in the opening quarter and established a 15-6 lead after one quarter. Jordan had seven points in the quarter for the Lady Patriots.
Curtis built the lead to 22-8 in the second quarter before the Broncos awakened with a 6-0 run and it was 26-16 at halftime. Jordan finished the half with 11 points for the Patriots while Abryhia Irons had nine. Center Tamara Nard had six points, five rebounds and three assists but picked up three fouls for the Broncos.
The Patriots (15-1) opened up the lead in the third quarter with a 6-0 run to take a 16-point lead before taking a 38-24 lead going to the final period. Tulane signee Dynah Jones had six points in the quarter for Curtis.
Curtis imposed its will in the final quarter to pull away for a convincing victory. The Patriots outrebounded the taller Broncos 29-22.
“We’ve just been telling them we’re not going to get any taller so we might as well be in the best shape we can be in,” Farris said. “We run them a lot. They complain about it but it is about winning in the fourth quarter and that’s usually what gets us a win. It’s a blessing to have so many options on the court because we’re not a one player-centered offense. We run an offense where everyone will touch the basketball at some point and we just run the offense and see what we can get.”
Irons was outstanding with 11 points and 12 rebounds while Jones finished with 13 points and six rebounds. Jonaie Johnson led the Broncos (16-3) with 12 points while Nard finished with eight points, five rebounds and three assists before fouling out early in the fourth quarter. Curtis forced 18 turnovers by Kenwood.
With eight straight wins, Curtis returns to action Tuesday at Carver at 5 p.m.
“This was a goal to win this tournament,” Jordan said. “Now, we move on to pursue our goal of repeating as state champions.”
With the way Curtis played in the tournament, it appears the Lady Patriots may be well on their way.
J. Curtis 15 11 12 19 57
Kenwood 6 10 8 12 36
JC—Jerkalia Jordan 24, Dynah Jones 13, Abryhia Irons 11, Salma Bates 7, Da’jha Virgil 2
Kenwood—Joanie Johnson 12, Tamara Nard 8, Shania Jackson 6, Destiny Franklin 4, Leilani Murray 4, Shadrina McDaniel 2