DENHAM SPRINGS — The Denham Springs girls basketball team entered Friday night riding a 10-game winning streak, but the circumstances surrounding Albany’s trip across Livingston Parish had Yellow Jackets coach Shelly LaPrarie concerned.
For one thing, it was the final tuneup for Denham before opening District 4-5A play Tuesday at home against rival Walker.
For another, the Yellow Jackets had coasted past these same Hornets by 20-plus points when the teams met in the Livingston Parish tournament last month.
“I told the kids I was kind of worried about it being a trap game,” LaPrarie said.
The Yellow Jackets made it known early that their focus was in the right place, taking a double-digit lead against Albany in the first quarter and cruising to a 68-33 home win.
Tremeeka Spikes scored 23 points despite missing part of the first half in foul trouble to lead three Yellow Jackets in double figures. Caroline Taylor had 12 points and Payton Chustz finished with 10.
Denham (17-2) led wire-to-wire, including a 44-19 margin at the half, in pushing its win streak to 11 games.
“Denham played very well tonight,” Albany coach Stacy Darouse said. “Hat’s off to them. I don’t remember them missing a shot the whole first quarter.”
Darouse said her team’s approach Friday was to take away the inside game of the Yellow Jackets and apply pressure on their guards. Denham had an answer for that as Taylor and Lexi McMorris set the tone in the first half.
“The thing I’m most impressed with is how they’re playing together and sharing the basketball,” LaPrarie said. “I like the way we’’re making adjustments to whatever teams are doing to us.”
As they ready for the start of district play, the Yellow Jackets will look to continue a bounce-back season after missing the playoffs last year with a rotation that was sophomore-oriented.
McMorris sat out last season after transferring from Walker.
“The first time we played them, they really hurt us inside,” Darouse said. “So this time we tried to put some more pressure on their guards and take that away. By doing that, we pretty much let their guards have their way. When we would get tight on them, they would just drive right by us. They have the whole package. They have the guards and they have the posts.”
Sophomore Mahogany Williams was Albany’s one double-digit scorer with 10 points.
The Hornets (15-6) have a home game Tuesday against Covington, another 5A foe, before beginning their 7-3A slate on Friday at Amite.