BRUSLY — A dominant quarter keyed victories for University High’s boys and girls squads when they visited Brusly High for District 6-3A games Monday night.
The U-High girls took control in the third quarter of a 74-53 win. Sparked by a huge second quarter, the U-High boys cruised 97-42.
U-High girls 74, Brusly 53: After playing to a 31-31 first-half tie, the U-High girls (11-6, 3-0) outscored Brusly 33-7 in the third quarter. Destiny Ephrom was the catalyst scoring 16 of her game-high 36 points.
The first half was tight throughout. Brusly (8-11, 1-2) took a 6-0 lead before U-High began to work its way back to take a 17-16 lead after one quarter. The teams went back and forth in the second before Alyssa Fisher’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer pulled the Cubs into the halftime tie.
There were eight lead changes and four ties in the first half.
Brusly’s Dricka Pierson scored the first bucket of the second half. Aided by a pair of Brusly turnovers, Ephrom scored three consecutive baskets, and the Cubs never trailed again.
“The third quarter is the most important quarter,” U-High coach Bonita Johnson said. “I told the girls, ‘Whoever wins the third quarter wins the game.’ I wanted to be up by 12, and they came out and gave me more than that.”
Ephrom got offensive support from Chelsea Verrett, who scored 15. Brusly, which won its home game against U-High last season, was led by Pierson’s 23 points. Caitlyn Williams added 20.
Johnson said last season’s loss was a minor factor in her team’s first-half play.
“I think it was in the back of our minds, but we got in a little foul trouble early,” she said. “It put the handcuffs on us a little, and we weren’t as aggressive as we usually are.”
U-High boys 97, Brusly 42: Jalen Johnson scored 16 of his 32 points in the second quarter as U-High pulled away.
U-High (12-1, 1-0) led 15-10 after one quarter before surging for 38 points to take a 53-21 halftime lead.
Johnson finished the half 10-of-15 from the floor, including two 3-pointers. He also made two free throws.
“Jalen got going, and we did an unbelievable job of finding him,” U-High coach Joe Spencer said. “When shots are falling like that, there’s not much anybody could do running across a guy that’s hot like that. I thought our defense picked up a little in the second quarter, and that, coupled with the offense, gave us a comfortable halftime lead.”
Brusly (10-5, 0-1) got 17 points from Darian Jones.
Eleven players scored for U-High, including Wayde Sims with 13 and John Jones with 12.
Brusly’s Michael Bryant scored four points in the early going as the Panthers took a 6-4 lead. U-High came back to lead 10-6, but Jones’ two free throws sliced into the lead.
Johnson scored in the lane, and Gardner hit a 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Cubs a 15-10 lead after one.
In the second, U-High took advantage of six turnovers while scoring the first 16 points to seize control.
The Cubs made 14 of 21 shots from the field and 8 of 9 free throws in the quarter.