Elise Reilly had a game-high 21 points to lead Mandeville to a 42-23 victory over John Curtis on Tuesday night in the season opener for both.
Never trailing in the game, Mandeville (1-0) broke out to a 6-1 run to open the game. The Skippers took control of the game in the second quarter, outscoring John Curtis 12-2, 10 of which came from Reilly to take a 22-7 halftime lead.
The lead ballooned to 40-11 at halftime as the Patriots only managed four points.
John Curtis coach Barbara Farris pulled her starters for the first five minutes of the quarter, inserting her junior varsity squad.
Jannah Boudreaux also added seven points in the win for the Skippers.
Reilly hit six 3-pointers.
“It is a great way to start the season,” Reilly said. “1-0 is definitely how you want to start off the season. I think we really played great team basketball tonight. It took me a couple of shots to get going, but I knew they would start falling and sure enough that was the case.
“To be honest with you I’m just excited to finally be back in games that count. It is nerve-wracking at times, especially when the first couple of my shots don’t fall. The coaching staff tells me to keep shooting and I did that and we came out with a win.”
Skippers coach Melissa Weinmunson said she was happy to start the season with a win.
“It is always good to start the season with a win,” she said. “We didn’t start off shooting well, but I was proud of our defense. We made them (Curtis) change what they were trying to do, and we rebounded well. That helped us win this game tonight.”
John Curtis (0-1) was led by Farryn Wallow who had 14 points and Lacee Ancar, who finished with four.
Farris said her squad played nervous, particularly early.
“We are a very young team,” Farris said. “But I was most disappointed with how at times we just shut down. Our squad thinks that they have high-intensity basketball experience, but they are going to learn that they really don’t yet. We keep telling our squad that you cannot be told everything during the game and that you are going to have to learn and adapt on the floor. Hopefully we watch the film and learn from this game. A lot of teachable moments.”
Having to replace the Class 3A MVP in Kolby Morgan from a year ago, Farris said her squad better prepare to get their opponents best shot each and every night.
“The blessing and curse of having such an outstanding player like Kolby was she sometimes leaves everyone else in her shadow,” Farris said. “We honestly believe this year we have a very deep, but unproven squad since I have been here. I told my team everybody is coming for us, and we have to prepare for a dogfight each and every night.”