Jays Show Improvement in Rematch with De La Salle
Perhaps it’s the return of senior Mark Beebe to the starting line-up. Or maybe it’s just the normal arc of a Chris Jennings-coached squad.
Whatever it is, it was a much better Jesuit basketball team that showed up on Tuesday, Jan. 5 at the Birdcage than fans saw a month ago. Twenty-six points better, to be exact.
Back on Dec. 3, the De La Salle Cavaliers mauled the Jays 83-47 in a second round CYO Tournament game.
Early on in Tuesday night’s contest, it looked like it might be a similarly long night for the home team. De La Salle, sporting a 15-4 record and a #10 ranking in the New Orleans Advocate’s Boys Super 10, sprinted to a double-digit lead early in the first quarter before the Jays found their groove and clawed back into the game. By halftime, Jesuit was within three, down 33-30.
And then Stephen Kelly happened. The Cavalier guard briefly entered “the zone,” raining down 12 points in the first 85 seconds of the second half, including three three-pointers, as the Cavaliers broke open a close game and coasted to a 67-57 win.
To their credit, the Jays kept fighting after the prolific Kelly onslaught. But it’s hard to beat a team that jacks up almost as many three-point attempts (37) as you do field goal attempts (39).
The real problem with the Cavaliers’ three-point shooting wasn’t their conversion rate. De La Salle only made 10 of those 37 attempts from behind the arc. But missed three-point attempts lead to long rebounds, and no matter how well a team boxes out, it’s impossible to completely neutralize the long rebound. The stats tell that story. De La Salle pulled down 17 more offensive rebounds than Jesuit (24-7) and scored 12 more second-chance points (18-6).
Senior Rob Weiss scored 22 points and pulled down five rebounds for the Jays, both team highs. Junior Brendan Conroy added 11 points, while junior Chris Beebe dished out five assists. Juniors Collin Kullivan and Sam Ovella chipped in five points apiece. Senior Mark Beebe, playing his first home game since returning from a toe injury he suffered in the Jesuit football team’s playoff loss to Rummel, contributed four points and three rebounds.
The loss drops Jesuit to 5-11 on the season. Next up is a Friday, Jan. 8 contest with Holy Cross. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in the Birdcage.
TheNewOrleansAdvocate.com – De La Salle beats Jesuit for eighth straight win