John Curtis’ pursuit of a second Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic title in the last three seasons got off to a good start Thursday night at the Alario Center.
It was a tight contest most of the way, but the Patriots were able to prevail, 44-39, over Lafayette Christian in a matchup between two defending state champions. The Patriots will face Sulphur Friday at 3:30 p.m. on the Red Court at the Alario Center.
Tulane commitment Jerkaila Jordan was sensational yet again scoring a game-high 24 points with 11 rebounds and 7 steals. She scored the Patriots’ first nine points and seven of her 24 came in the fourth quarter before fouling out with 28.9 seconds left while Curtis held a 42-36 lead.
Jordan’s final foul came on an and-one, and Melia Sylvester hit the ensuing free throw to pull Lafayette Christian within 42-37. The situation got a bit more tense after senior Tamera Johnson put in a layup seconds later following a Curtis turnover, but Jane Wright was able to knock down a couple of late free throws that gave the Patriots the breathing room they needed to secure the win.
Johnson was the top player for Lafayette Christian scoring 18 points with 17 rebounds, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Senior guard Autumn Chaisson followed with 11 points, and the duo was the catalyst for a Knights comeback after they fell behind, 26-15, in the third quarter.
JOHN CURTIS 44, LAFAYETTE CHRISTIAN 39
at Alario Center, Thursday (Jan. 2), Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic (Platinum Bracket, 1st Round)
Records: Lafayette Christian, 14-2; John Curtis, 10-1
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Lafayette Christian | 3 | 10 (13) | 9 (22) | 17 – 39
John Curtis | 5 | 10 (15) | 13 (28) | 16 – 44
Lafayette Christian: Tamera Johnson, 18; Autumn Chaisson, 11; Ajayah Simpson, 4; Zoe Wiltz, 3; Melia Sylvester, 3.
John Curtis: Jerkaila Jordan, 24; Jane Wright, 8; Jordan Barfield, 4; Alexis Laverene, 4; Jania Holmes, 2; Heaven Jordan, 2.
John Curtis coach Barbara Farris: We knew they were going to be aggressive and we knew we were undersized, but we wanted to limit some of their second-chance opportunities. I was impressed with our on-ball defense but when we got a little bit tired it showed with their ability to get to the rim and us not being able to keep them off the glass. But all in all, a win is a win and I’m happy about that.
(Jordan) gets the silly (fouls) and I always tell her you’re going to get two that maybe are questionable, but don’t give them the other ones and stay out of the frying pan. But again, she’s a hell of a player and we’re still trying to find that second player to come in and complement her offensively.
Up Next: John Curtis will be back in action Friday at 3:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals on the Red Court against Sulphur, which defeated McArthur (TX), 41-28. Lafayette Christian will take on McArthur Friday at 3:30 p.m. on the Blue Court.