Curtis sparks Denham Springs win

DENHAM SPRINGS — Caletria Curtis scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead Denham Springs to a 39-25 girls basketball victory Tuesday night over Scotlandville.

Denham Springs (19-5) remains tied for the District 4-5A lead with Walker at 5-1. Scotlandville (19-6, 4-2) lost for the second time in district to DSHS.

Denham Springs hit two free throws in the final minute and prevailed 41-39 in the first meeting. This time Denham took control early and never looked back.

“This was a big district win,” DSHS coach Shelly LaPrarie said. “We’ve got to win every one at home. Scotlandville battled, and it was a very physical game. For the most part our players handled Scotlandville’s defensive pressure very well.”

Denham Springs led 10-4 after one quarter. Scotlandville had a poor shooting night (1-for-18 on 3-pointers) and went scoreless in an 11-minute span in the first half.

The Hornets finally scored in the second quarter with 1:19 remaining when Lanae Bickham made a strong move to the basket as the Hornets pulled within 21-6. That stopped a 15-0 run by DSHS.

Denham finished the second and third quarters with last-second shots by Brianna Ensminger off an assist from Jena Mabile and a runner by Curtis. Denham led 25-9 at the half and twice led by 18 points in the third quarter. Ensminger added nine points.

Scotlandville pulled within 34-23 with 2:35 remaining after a baseline jumper by Kenya Dixon. That was the closest the Hornets came to cutting into the deficit.

Scotlandville played without center Daylin Boatner, who is out with a knee injury. Bickham scored 11 and Dixon eight for Scotlandville.

“It wasn’t our night shooting the ball,” Scotlandville coach Cedric Hill said. “We got the shots we wanted. They just didn’t fall. Sometimes it happens that way.”

Denham Springs struggled at the free-throw line. The Yellow Jackets made just 12 of 27 tries.

Curtis, a 5-foot-7 junior, is a three-year starter for DSHS. She scored inside and outside and often drew fouls. Curtis made 7 of 11 free throws.

“Curtis can do it all,” LaPrarie said. “She can post up for us. She can step outside and take people off the dribble. She fits into our team concept. She’s capable of that every time out. I am proud of our balanced offense. Once we started moving the ball offensively and came out in our sets, we got some easy baskets. And our defense covered their shooters.”

The 25 points was a season low for Scotlandville, which has only one other game under 30 points.

“We have a number of seniors, and this is the best record they’ve had since they’ve been playing,” Hill said. “I haven’t met a champion yet that didn’t have some adversity. We’ll go back to the drawing board. We’ll be back.”