A “W” and a DeBlieux in Basketball District Opener
The name “DeBlieux” looks nothing like the letter “W”; but it is pronounced that way. Sometimes, that’s how it works—names, and numbers, are not always what they seem. Take, for example, the numbers (stats, final score, etc.) from Friday night’s district opener in The Birdcage. They make it seem like the game was out of either team’s control. While Jesuit’s 36-35 victory over St. Augustine was a close battle throughout, only once did the Blue Jays surrender the lead in the 1-point game.
Commanding the troops was a player who usually doesn’t see his Cajun-spelled name atop the list of leading scorers. A starter who knows his role. A junior who can play any position.
Zach DeBlieux guided the Jays mentally and physically. He and fellow junior Elijah Morgan led on both ends of the court. Scoring ten points each, the dime duo contributed more than half of the Jays’ 36 points. They also collected 11 of the team’s 23 rebounds.
DeBlieux explained his usual role: “Most of the time, I’m looking to get the ball to one of the real shooters like Elijah [Morgan] or Will Landrieu. Guys like me and Nick Artigues are in there for defense and rebounding.”
DeBlieux’s 10 points—five of six free throws, a three, and a layup—may not jump off the score sheet, but the timing of his baskets are worth another look. All five of his free throws came in the fourth quarter, and his three-pointer immediately followed a Purple Knight three that put St. Aug ahead 24-23 (2Q), their only lead of the game.
Seldom does the leading scorer only have two made baskets from the field, but just as seldom does the winning basketball team only have 36 points. “That’s how we play,” asserted DeBlieux. “We don’t ever want to let the defense dictate what we do.”
The most critical of DeBlieux’s 10 points came with 11.7 remaining and only a 3-point Jesuit lead. Breaking the press, he drew a foul and knocked down both free throws. The Knights made two quick buckets that put them one point behind, but the final play saw DeBlieux quarterback the ball to junior Robert McMahon on the opposite end of the court. The clock ticked to zero, ending the game and giving Jesuit its third straight victory. Preceding wins were in the Mount Vernon Holiday Tournament against Dunbar (Washington, D.C.) and St. John Paul the Great (Dumfries, VA). As for the district opener, it was DeBlieux who secured the “W”.
Jesuit (12-3, 1-0) continues District 9-5A Catholic League play with a road game at Rummel on Tuesday, Jan. 9. Looking to the end of January, the 2018 Basketball Homecoming event will take place on Friday, Jan. 26 for the home game against Warren Easton. Basketball alumni are highly encouraged to register in advance, and admission is free for all!