Mount Carmel continued to hone its game for the playoffs, bolting to a 25-0 lead and defeating Chapelle 63-31 Monday night at the Mount Carmel gym in a District 9-5A game.
The victory improved the Cubs’ record to 22-7 and 5-0.
MCA, ranked No. 6 in the unofficial power rankings last week, is also ranked No. 6 in the New Orleans Advocate’s Super 10.
Winners in seven of their past eight games, the Cubs have two games remaining. They play Thursday at 9-5A rival Dominican and close their regular season Saturday against Cabrini (22-5).
“We really need to be ramping up for playoffs,” Mount Carmel coach Kevin McGlathery said. “The team wanted to send our seniors out on a good note.
“They really came out with intensity.’
Mount Carmel honored seniors Sarah Uzee and Taylor Berry in a pre-game ceremony.
Once the game started, the Cubs turned loose their patented defensive pressure.
Mount Carmel made nine of its first 12 field goals while running out to a 25-2 lead after the first quarter. Paige Frankewicz had nine points and Berry seven to lead the way.
But it was the Cubs’ swarming defense that created the problems for Chapelle.
MCA’s full-court and half-court trap defense forced repeated turnovers or steals that led to easy baskets. Frankewicz, Megan Donaldson, and Berry each had a 3-point field goal in the opening period, but all the other scores were within 10 feet of the basket.
“Honestly, we spend more time working on getting back to our (defensive) spots and rotations than we do on our shooting,” McGlathery said. “We feel like if we can get a running start, we can get easy baskets.
“We came out flat,” Chapelle coach Mike Krajcer Jr. said. “We gave them the ball the first three minutes of the (first) quarter. Twenty-five points in the first quarter. Wow.”
The Cubs led 32-13 by halftime.
Frankewicz scored 12 points in the first half and finished the game with 16, as did Berry.
It was a 39-17 game in the third period when Mount Carmel scored five consecutive breakaway baskets.
“As a team going into the playoffs looking for a state championship, we’ve got a little ways to go,” McGlathery said. “We’ve got to put together a 32-minute game. Tonight was close, but we’ve got things to tighten up.”
It was the third time Chapelle (14-17, 1-5) has lost to Mount Carmel this season. The Chipmunks were ranked No. 25 in LHSAA unofficial power rankings last week. Monday was their final regular season game.
“We’ve played them three times,” Krajcer said. “This was our worst showing, by far.
“They are a great team,” Krajcer said. “Our offense early was nonexistent early. I start three freshmen. They are going to get rattled. Tonight they played like freshmen in the first quarter.”
Lindsey Powell led Chapelle with seven points.