Tenacious Fourth Quarter Defense Sparks Jays Over Warren Easton
There were three distinct chapters to Jesuit’s thrilling 51-50 road basketball victory against Warren Easton on Thursday, Dec. 21.
For the first six minutes of the game, Jesuit methodically dismantled the Eagles’ full court pressure, utilized crisp ball movement to get open looks for junior sharpshooter Elijah Morgan, and generally limited the home-standing Eagles to one-shot possessions. The result: Morgan drained three baskets from behind the arc to stake the Jays to a 12-5 lead with less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Then, the wheels fell off. Easton’s full-court defensive pressure, applied by a constantly substituting 10-man rotation, started creating turnovers. The result: Easton finished out the first half on a 23-10 run to take a 28-22 lead into the locker room.
The third quarter was more of the same, as Easton extended its lead to double digits. When the fourth quarter started, the Jays were on the ropes, down 45-34.
But then came Chapter Three. In the final eight minutes, Jesuit’s full court pressure finally started to pay dividends of its own. The Jays converted a series of baskets off turnovers and made some key defensive stops as they clawed their way back into the game.
Oh, and Elijah Morgan got hot again. Morgan scored nine points from the field to pace the offensive end of Jesuit’s comeback. But it was at the free throw line where Morgan delivered the dagger. Down one with 3.6 seconds left to play, Morgan calmly converted both ends of a one and one to give the Jays a 51-50 victory.
Morgan led all scorers on the evening with 24 points. Junior Noah Varnado added seven points, and seniors Drew Black and Michael Hull chipped in six points apiece.
As always, the scoring gets the glory, but this game was won by a sustained defensive effort that eventually yielded fourth quarter results. Four Blue Jays who didn’t stand out in the scoring column–senior Will Landrieu along with juniors Nick Artigues, Robert McMahon, and Zach DeBlieux–were throwing their bodies all over the court, doing the little things that put the team in a position to win.
With the win, Jesuit improves to 8-2 on the season. But there’s no rest for the weary. The Jays lace up their sneakers again on Friday, Dec. 22 for a home game against East Feliciana. Tip-off is set for 5:30 at the Birdcage.