CLIFTON — Devin Curry’s sectional basketball debut was a record-setting appearance.
The 5-foot-6 Watseka junior came within one point of matching the scoring output of St. Joseph-Ogden on Monday as the Warriors won their first sectional game in school history, 48-34.
“We didn’t want to be done yet,” said Curry, who attempted 27 of Watseka’s 48 field goal attempts and also cleared a game-high 13 rebounds.
SJ-O built a 19-10 second-quarter lead, but Watseka narrowed its deficit to 22-18 at halftime. Curry had 16 of the points.
“When everyone in the gym knows who she is and she performs like that, it says a lot,” Watseka coach Rebecca Swigert said.
“She showed why she’s Devin Curry.”
The Spartans pulled within 32-30 in the first minute of the fourth quarter on a three-pointer by freshman Katie Landis. Curry hit eight straight points and a steal and conversion by Taylor Bauer created a 42-30 lead that never dipped into single digits again.
The key, Swigert said, went beyond Curry’s 33-point explosion.
“Our defense buckled down,” said Swigert, whose team is 26-6.
SJ-O (21-9) managed just two baskets in the final 18 minutes.
“Some day, the girls will understand what this means,” Swigert said.
In the short term it means a date in Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. sectional championship game against the state’s top-rated Class 2A team, St. Thomas More. The Sabers have beaten Watseka twice this season by at least 20-point margins.
“Third time’s a charm,” Swigert said. “We’re excited to get another opportunity to play them.”
It’s a challenge that Curry is awaiting. “We’re ready to give them a game this time,” she said.
Bailey Trimble led SJ-O with nine points. Teammate Ashley Landis had eight. Ashley Beals had six points to go with a team-high six rebounds. For Watseka, Allison Kaper finished with eight points and six rebounds.