Villanova signee Jordan Dillard went for 21 points for Decatur Tuesday, but No. 3 St. Pius X beat the No. 9 Bulldogs 55-41 in an important Region 6-AAA girls game as college prospects Asia Durr and Jasmine Carter combined for 33 points for SPX.
With assistant coaches from Maryland, Memphis and Michigan State in attendance, SPX guard/forward Durr – considered by ESPN.com to be the No. 1 sophomore prospect in the nation – scored 19 points. Carter, a junior, added 14.
The Lions (19-3, 11-0) remained unbeaten in region play, but that does not mean that SPX coach Kyle Snipes was pleased even after the home team built a a 55-34 lead.
“We kind of let them back in the game at the end of the first half, and that was just us not boxing out,” he said.
Snipes is demanding, which has helped the Lions forge an 86-23 record in his three-plus seasons.
Actually, SPX scored the final five points of the first half to lead 27-14 at the break. He had a point, though, because the Bulldogs (16-6, 9-2) had a five-point run right before that based on offensive rebounds and Dillard scoring off an inbounds pass where she went inexplicably uncovered in the paint.
At that point, Snipes nearly came out of his freshly-pressed suit. In the end, however, he sounded like he was pleased that the Lions were in ways pressed out of their comfort zone.
“We haven’t seen much man [-to-man defense] recently; we’ve seen a lot of zones,” Snipes said. “We need the half court work because when you get in the playoffs every possession is magnified. You’ve got to be able to stop people in the half court and score in the half court.”
Each team has three region games left before the playoffs, and then the state tournament.
The Lions’ best quarter was the third, and senior Laura Redmond and the ability of the home team to get out in transition were the biggest reasons.
Redmond scored five of her 11 points in the period, and Carter and Durr had back-to-back steals in the middle of the period that led to breakaway baskets.
Even though Decatur’s Kori Anderson, Dillard and Jahmee Reeves hit 3-pointers in the quarter, SPX grew the lead to 43-28. Anderson, a junior, scored 11 points.
Dillard had 11 rebounds, and the 6-footer seemed to show up in the right place on the offensive glass frequently as she fared much better than in the first matchup of these teams. She scored just four points when St. Pius won 50-37 at Decatur on January 12th.
“When coach told us we had to stop Jordan Dillard, that was hard. She’s a great player,” SPX’s Durr said. “[The half court work] was very good for us because we needed it. Most definitely we’re going to see that in the playoffs.”
St. Pius X 55, Decatur 41
Decatur (16-6, 9-2 Region 6-AAA) – Jordan Dillard 21, Alana Johnson, Kristen Munson 2, Jayla Morrow 2, Kori Anderson 11, Kayla Thomas 2, Jahmee Reeves 3.
St. Pius X (19-3, 11-0) – Asia Durr 19, Adriana Daves 4, Laura Redmond 11, Jasmine Carter 14, Mackenzie Garrison 7, Miah Allen, Courtney Tuttle, Sally Varner, Nicole Rodriguez. Halftime: SPX 27, Decatur 15.