Denham Springs' girls basketball team went on a 14-3 run in the final six minutes to pull away from University and take a 52-45 victory over the host Cubs on Friday night.
University led after each of the first three quarters despite suiting up just six players. Two starters and a key reserve missed the game for the Cubs (13-11).
Senior guard Alexius Horne scored 10 of her team-high 21 points in the second half to pace Denham Springs. Kate Thompson, a 6-foot-2 junior, added 12 points and 11 rebounds.
“University was missing some of its best players and that was probably one of the worst games we’ve played,” DSHS coach Blake Zito said. “University played hard, did little things, and outrebounded us tonight. We’re lucky to win.”
Horne, a McKinley transfer, also got it done on the defensive end. She guarded Paul in the second half and made things more difficult for the 6-1 senior. Paul was red hot to start the game with 11 points, including three 3-pointers, in the first quarter. Paul had 10 points in the second half. She hit a 3-pointer to put the Cubs up 40-33 with seven minutes remaining and missed her final five shots.
Horne answered with a 3-pointer and two free throws to cut the deficit to 40-38. Denymn Drummer hit two free throws to put UHS up 42-38 with 5:46 left. Denham took the lead for good (43-42) on a Horne free throw with 3:59 remaining.
Desiree Jones hit a layup off a Thompson assist to put the Yellow Jackets up 47-42 with 2:22 remaining. Drummer hit a 3-point bank shot to cut the DSHS lead to 49-45 in the final minute. Thompson hit two free throws and grabbed a key defensive rebound.
“Kate Thompson got in foul trouble early and that was huge for University,” Zito said. “Kate is skilled and can really score it.”
University coach Bonita Johnson was beaming after the game about the play of sophomores Elise Doomes and Colleen Temple, who combined for 20 rebounds. Doomes had nine of her career-high 15 rebounds in the first half.
“We really controlled the boards at times,” Johnson said. “Denham Springs pressed us the entire game and that was rough with so few players. I was very proud of guard Denymn Drummer. She came out aggressive today and went to the hole and dished the ball.”
Drummer finished with nine points and five assists. Drummer’s layup with six minutes remaining in the third quarter gave the Cubs their largest lead at eight points (33-25).
University had 20 turnovers and shot 33 percent from the field and 45 percent free throws.