The John Curtis girls basketball team brought a variety of weapons to their nondistrict matchup against St. Michael on Friday.
The young but talented visitors executed coach Barbara Farris’ game plan and came away with a 51-36 win over the cold-shooting Warriors.
“Our plan was don’t make turnovers, make your free throws if you get them and play tough defense,” Farris said.
“They showed tremendous maturity playing through things, through calls and missed layups and things like that. Tremendous maturity for basically eighth- and ninth- and 10th-graders.”
Although the Patriots turned the ball over a dozen times, they made 15 of 22 from the free throw line and allowed St. Michael only one scorer in double figures, post player Jordon Schexnayder, who led the Warriors with 10 points.
Curtis (12-6) was led by sophomore Dynah Jones with 17 points, followed by sophomore Dajha Virbil with 12 and freshman Abryhia Irons with 11.
St. Michael (11-3) didn’t start the way it wanted, opening with three missed shots and two turnovers before Essa Badon hit a 3-pointer and started the Warriors on their way to a 9-8 lead after the first quarter.
That lead quickly evaporated in the second quarter as Virbil and Salma Bates each hit a 3-pointer and a 2-point basket, and Curtis led 21-17 at halftime.
St. Michael had trouble getting any shots to connect, but it wasn’t only the shooting that disturbed St. Michael coach Tami McClure.
“We did not come to play (Friday) night at all, and they just outplayed us,” she said. “We did not play hard, we did not execute and they just put it to us. This isn’t typical of the way I want us to play. It’s early in the season, and you’re going to have ups and downs, but we were just not here (Friday night).
“(John Curtis) did a great job, had a great game plan and played hard the whole time.”
The Warriors seemed to come to life with 6:28 left in the game when a Tyler Morrison basket cut the lead to eight at 36-28, but Jones then scored four straight points, and Irons hit a follow shot to push the margin back to 14 points.
Badon and Morrison finished with eight points apiece for the Warriors, and Sabree Wilson gave them a late spark, collecting six points in the fourth quarter.
“We played hard, we played together and we hit the free throws when we needed to,” Farris said. “That’s what it takes to get a road win against a really tough team like St. Michael.”