Basketball Jays Silence the Bears, 41-30
The Blue Jays made easy work of the Bears from Catholic High in the holiday season, Friday night match-up in the birdcage. A large student section was on hand to cheer on the Jays — well, at least in the 2nd quarter and beyond, as the student section orchestrated a cheering strategy called “Silent Night.” Fans were quiet in the stands until the 10th Blue Jay point was scored, then erupted in support of the Jays and remained vibrant all night.
Collin Kulivan came out with the hot hand in the first quarter, scoring Jesuit’s first seven points in quick order with a combination of jump-shots and a three pointer. Not a peep was heard from the crowd. The Blue Jay defense was able to execute some silencing of its own in the first quarter, allowing Catholic to score just three baskets.
After the first seven points, Jesuit missed a series of shots before Matt Artigues popped in an exciting put-back at the buzzer to give Jesuit a 9-6 lead at the end of the first quarter which–under normal circumstances–would have sent the crowd into a frenzy. It wasn’t until Will Hillery hit a 15-foot jump-shot that the crowd erupted, forcing Catholic to turn the ball over on the next possession and call a timeout to settle the players.
The Blue Jay defense again held the Bears to six points in the second quarter, and a consistent offensive attack, concluding with a Hunt Conroy buzzer beater, sent the Jays into the locker room at halftime with a 19-12 lead.
The second half was an up-and-down game, with both teams scoring points in transition. The different maker was Jesuit’s strong defense, which limited Catholic to shooting a 34% field goal percentage from the field. In the end, Jesuit simply made more shots and sunk their free throws as the Bears tried to catch up in the fourth quarter with heavy fouling. This allowed Jesuit to extend its lead to 11 with a final score of 41-30.
Leading scorers for the Jays were Collin Kulivan with 12, Will Hillery with 10, and Elijah Morgan with 9. Strong defensive performances were given by Hillery, Michael Hull, and Nick Artigues.
The Jays are back in action in the Birdcage on Saturday night at 7 PM against Vandebilt Catholic.