In the District 6-5A opener for both, it was Mandeville that came away with a 54-23 victory over homestanding Northshore on Tuesday night.
Shantel Short led Mandeville with a game-high 19 points and the duo of Janeica and Jaz Menina combined for 18 points to pace the Skippers’ victory.
Sydney Houlemard was the bulk of Northshore’s offense, scoring 11 points.
Short got things going for Mandeville from the opening tip, hitting a 3-pointer to give Mandeville (8-4) the lead. The Skippers scored the first eight points of the game, with six of them coming from Short.
“The offense was really working tonight, and I was able to get a lot of open looks,” Short said.
“Particularly early on the defensive side of the ball, we all got really good open looks because of how hard we played on the defensive end.”
Mandeville held Northshore (7-4) scoreless until a basket by Houlemard with 4:37 to go in the opening quarter and led 17-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.
A 6-0 run by Northshore midway through the second quarter cut the lead to 10 points with 4:57 to go in the half, but Mandeville finished the half on a 6-0 run and held the Panthers scoreless the final 4:57 of the quarter to grab a 26-10 halftime lead.
“We have talked and worked a lot as a team because we have been going through some transitional changes,” Skippers coach Melissa Weinmunson said. “We knew that we had to come out tonight and have a good defensive spurt to drive our offense. We had to get some easy buckets in transition in order for us to be successful.
“It was great to see us come out with so much energy, and we are continuing to develop good team chemistry.”
The lead ballooned to 43-13 after the third quarter thanks to a Mandeville defense that held Northshore to one field goal coming out of halftime. Mandeville outscored Northshore 17-3 in the period.
Playing without three starters because of injuries, Weinmunson was pleased to see a good effort from her reserves who were thrust into starting roles.
“Take Shantel for example,” she said. “In the last several games, she has really stepped up her game and given us an offensive threat that we need. Jaz and Janeica did as well. The entire team executed and did what we were asking them to do.
“Even down three starters, we were able to run our offense and do what we want to do.
“Any time you can start district play with a win, particularly on the road, you will take it.”