In the third meeting between the schools in less than month, Dominican knew it needed to make things hard for John Curtis.
Dominican made things difficult on the Patriots the entire game, but it wasn’t quite enough in the end.
No. 10-ranked Curtis (20-12) made a late push and squeaked out a win over District 9-5A rival No. 23-seeded Dominican in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs at Chapelle on Thursday night.
“We knew it was going to be a blessing and a curse that we knew them so well, because they know us too,” Curtis coach Barbara Farris said. “In this situation, teams are going to be able to take away some strengths, and you’re just going to have to adapt.
“We finally did that in the fourth quarter, and it was enough for us to get the win.”
Despite dealing with foul trouble the entire game, Curtis guard Dynah Jones scored nine of her team’s 16 points in the fourth quarter and finished with a game-high 15 points and two rebounds.
Curtis will move on to play No. 7 West Monroe on the road after it defeated No. 26 Live Oak in overtime Thursday night.
“We know they are a good team. We just had to stay focused and make the little plays,” Jones said.
Dominican (16-15) held Jones scoreless in the second and third quarters, but with the game tied at 21 going into the fourth, the sophomore took over on offense.
Her jumper to open the final period gave the Patriots their first at 23-21, and Curtis did not relinquish that lead.
While Jones’ scoring in the fourth clinched the win, she said it was her team’s defense that kept them in the game while she was in foul trouble. Dominican scored 15 points in the first quarter but only managed to score 15 points the rest of the game after that.
“My teammates were great this game, and they made plays when I had to sit down,” Jones said. “Once we picked up our intensity, we pretty much took over the game.”
Curtis trailed Dominican 15-10 at the end of the first quarter and was forced to play the second quarter without Jones due to foul trouble, but the Patriots used their swarming defense to fight their way back.
Dominican was held scoreless for nearly the entire second quarter. Dajha Virgil’s 3-pointer late in the second quarter tied the game at 15, but Dominican ended the half with a Kiera Burke layup that gave her team a 17-15 lead at halftime.
Gabby Sperber and Adelia Obioha led the scoring charge, finishing with 11 and 10 points.
“It’s a shame when two district teams have to play in the first round. We know each other so well,” Dominican coach Ryan Reuter said. “We were confident we could win, and we were in it all the way until the end, but they executed a few things at the end that we didn’t.”