Megan Donaldson finished the regular season with a bang Thursday.
Now the Mount Carmel senior is hoping her hot shooting carries over into next week’s playoffs.
Donaldson buried six 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 18 points in Mount Carmel’s 53-42 victory over host Ursuline Academy.
“It’s a great feeling, but it’s a team effort. I wouldn’t get those shots up if Kristen (Nuss) didn’t make the passes she makes. And it starts on defense, because if we don’t box out and get the rebound, we can’t get the shots off.”
Donaldson scored two of her 3-pointers in the first quarter to help Mount Carmel (24-6), ranked No. 2 in the New Orleans Advocate Super 10, build a 20-16 first-quarter lead.
“This whole month, she has found a little bit of a groove,” MCA coach Jamie Thomatis said. “That’s so important. We always talk about how she is an X-factor.”
For the Cubs (24-6), it was their second win of the season over the No. 6 Lions (22-5) after claiming a 57-40 victory in December.
Things were much closer this time around. The Lions trailed 29-24 at halftime and kept it close the rest of the way. Brooklyn Mitchell scored eight straight points (four in row to end the first half, four in a row to start the second half).
Ursuline tied it 33-33 with 1:32 left in the third on a jumper by Kourtney Weber. But Mount Carmel always had an answer.
Donaldson drained another 3-pointer to put the Cubs back ahead.
“It makes my job easier,” Thomatis said about Donaldson. “It’s like undeniable trust. There’s no such thing as a bad shot.”
Mount Carmel stretched its lead to 46-37 midway through the fourth quarter, but Ursuline charged back again and trimmed it to 46-41 on back-to-back baskets from Weber with 1:58 left.
But the Cubs responded with a three-point play by Jordan Berry to help put it away.
Nuss finished with 11 points for the Cubs, who are currently the No. 2-seeded team in the Class 5A playoffs.
Weber, Mitchell and Kennedi Jackson scored all the points for the Lions. Weber scored a game-high 20 points, Mitchell 15 and Jackson had seven.
Despite the loss, Ursuline coach Andrea Williams said she is pleased with where her team is headed into the playoffs.
“The girls are definitely on the right path to make a run,” Williams said. “This is where you want to start making a run. Mount Carmel is definitely a good team and a very experienced team. We start three sophomores, a freshman and an eighth-grader, so there are growing pains. But we have those spurts of greatness where I feel like we can definitely make a run.”
Thomatis is hoping her team can keep the momentum going. The Cubs extended their winning streak to six in a row and have now won 14 of their past 15 games.
“We didn’t want to go into the playoffs with a loss,”Thomatis said. “We not only got a win , but a quality win against a really good team. You really can’t ask for anything more than that.”