University High’s girls basketball team seems to be built for a deep playoff run.
The Cubs have three consistent scorers in Di’Mond Jackson, Terriel Ross and Alanie Fisherto go with several talented ballhandlers and a fierce defense.
Those combinations helped top-ranked University of Class 2A win its 19th straight game Saturday. The Cubs defeated Class 5A Scotlandville 67-54 at Baton Rouge Community College as part of the Hall of Fame Basketball Classic.
“We treated this game like a playoff game,” said University coach Bonita Johnson, who led her team to the state semifinals last season.
“It was nice to have good competition in Scotlandville. We shot 49 percent from the floor as a team and 45 percent from 3-point range.
“I was most impressed with our defense. We really forced a lot of turnovers. My players are in great shape and we’re ready for a deep playoff run.”
University (23-5) is the District 7-2A leader at 8-0. Scotlandville (19-5) is tied for the District 4-5A lead with Denham Springs and Walker at 4-1. Scotlandville plays at Denham Springs on Tuesday.
Ross scored 13 of her game-high 24 points in the first half to pace the Cubs. Jackson, a 5-foot-8 senior, added 15 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds and three steals. Fisher scored 11 and Mikayla Bates added six.
“That was one of Di’Mond’s best games of the season,” Johnson said. “She’s very athletic and plays hard. We’ve been able to build depth. Our young players are contributing and handling the pressure. Terriel Ross has been our go to shooter. She moves well and gets open.”
Kenya Dixon, a 5-foot-9 senior, led Scotlandville with 22 points. Lanae Bickham and Celica Sterling had 10 each.
“University has a good team with lots of speed and several good ballhandlers,” Hornets coach Cedric Hill said. “This was a good test for us. I was pleased with our performance as far as pressuring the basketball. We were able to force some turnovers.”
Scotlandville led twice early in the second quarter. Sterling hit a jumper to give the Hornets their largest lead at 18-15.
University went on a 12-2 run with Jackson and Ross scoring four points each.
The Cubs finished the quarter strong with a 6-0 run and led 37-27 at the half.
Mary Grace Constantin added three blocked shots for the Cubs.
Hill said he was pleased with the effort of point guard Bickham.
“She can really penetrate and that sets up others,” he said. “She’s also a tough defender. I’m pleased with how we competed, but we’ve got to limit our turnovers going forward.”