Basketball Prevails over Curtis, 46-42
Jays Halt the Patriots, 46-42
With leading scorer Elijah Morgan injured on the sideline in Friday night’s home game, the Blue Jay basketball team needed a careful strategy going into the second district match-up against the John Curtis Patriots.
The strategy worked to perfection in the first half as Jesuit slowed down the pace of the game and controlled the time of possession. Curtis came out in a zone defense, and Jesuit was ready for it. Passing for sometimes over a minute of play to break down the zone, 70% of Jesuit’s made shots on the night were taken in the lane. The rest were three pointers.
Although Curtis’s Kai Morgan struck first offensively, it was all Jesuit in the first period. Senior Chris Beebe had a pair of threes to score six of Jesuit’s 11 first quarter points. A reverse layup by senior Will Hillery and a three pointer by senior Collin Kulivan set the pace well ahead of the scoring by Morgan for Curtis. The Jays led 11-7 at the break.
The second period carried over the theme from the first. Jesuit maintained a disciplined offense, controlling the time of possession and waiting for good shots. The team’s six points all came in the paint after breaking down the Curtis defense. Curtis only managed three points in the quarter, held as they were to limited time of possession. The Jays led 17-10 at the halfway point.
By the end of the third quarter, the Blue Jay lead was cut to three points. The Jays came out of the locker room with intensity, getting two foul shots by Hillery and a three pointer by senior Hunt Conroy in the first minute of play.
Curtis then went on a run in the third following a change in defensive strategy to full court pressure and a couple of three pointers by Dawson Crosby. The Blue Jays held the line in the face of the pressure, getting great shots underneath the basket behind the spread defense. The Jays also scored on a series of backdoor cuts in response to a Curtis effort to deny the passing lanes.
Entering the fourth quarter with a 29-26 lead, Jesuit continued to use Curtis’s defensive pressure against them with shots underneath and frustrated the Curtis offensive attack with some early quarter charges drawn by Conroy and Hillery. As the game drew to a close, the Jesuit lead was bolstered by clutch free throw shooting by Chris Beebe, going 4-6 in the stretch as Curtis tried to control the clock by fouling.
Chris Beebe led the Jays offensively with a season-high 13 points. Collin Kulivan and Will Hillery added 12 and 10 respectively.
Coach Chris Jennings ’78 was pleased with his team’s performance, commenting that “it is a good thing to defeat a quality team” in John Curtis.
The Jays, 15-12 (4-4), travel to Marrero on Tuesday night to continue district play at 7:00 PM against Shaw.