Mount Carmel Academy forged an early advantage with red-hot shooting, then survived two Dominican comeback threats for a 60-42 win at Mount Carmel on Thursday night.
The victory enabled the Cubs, ranked No. 6 in the New Orleans Advocate’s Girls Super 10, to move to 2-0 in District 9-5A.
Crisp ball movement enabled Mount Carmel (18-6) to find open shooter after open shooter in the first quarter. The Cubs made eight of their first nine shots and took a 19-7 lead by quarter’s end.
“They started off really hot,” said Dominican coach Ryan Reuter. “They are ranked very high for a reason.”
Dominican (11-10) drilled home four 3-pointers in the second period to close the gap at halftime to 29-21.
Mount Carmel’s defense took over in the second half. Three layups, and a free throw after a foul inside, enabled the Cubs to score the first seven points of the third quarter. Two minutes after halftime, they led 36-21.
“We just wanted to keep changing (defenses) up,” said Mount Carmel coach Kevin McGlathery. “They can shoot.”
Mount Carmel continued to build its lead, stretching it to as much as 17 points, 44-27, with 3:12 remaining in the third period.
But a five-minute shooting drought that began in the final three minutes of the third and extended into the first two minutes of the final quarter allowed Dominican to close within nine points, 49-40, with 4:30 remaining.
Then, a pattern developed.
First came a Dominican steal or forced turnover, then an outlet pass and a drive finished by a layup. Kristen Nuss scored three times in that fashion, and Taylor Berry once during an 11-2 Mount Carmel run to finish the game.
Berry, who reached the 1,000 career points threshold earlier this season, led all scorers with 17 points. Nuss, who scored 14 in the second half, finished with 16.
Dominican’s Kayla Noto hit five 3-pointers and scored 17 points. Gabby Sperber, who also reached 1,000 career points in her last game, was held to four. Mallory Gardener scored 10.
“Each time we got a little closer, they’d make two or three steals, finish with a layup and extend the score,” Reuter said.
“They are so quick. I thought we ran our offense pretty good, but they make you pay every time you make a mistake.”
McGlathery attributed Mount Carmel’s two rough spots to Dominican’s resilience and the Cubs urge to shoot too quickly in spots.
“We strive for two assists for every three baskets,” he said. “When we move the ball, we get good looks (at the basket).”