Blue Jays Give Their All in Packed Birdcage Against St. Augustine
If points were awarded for effort, the Jesuit basketball team would have been in good shape against St. Augustine on Friday, Feb. 8, at the Birdcage.
The Jays scrapped and clawed from wire to wire, playing their trademark tenacious defense, holding the potent Purple Knights under 50 points on the night. But the shots just wouldn’t fall on the offensive end. When the final buzzer sounded, Jesuit dropped its third game of the year to the Purple Knights by a score of 49-42 and with it a shot at the team’s first district championship since 2013.
The Jays (27-5, 8-3) gave the standing room only senior night crowd plenty to cheer about in the first half. After spotting St. Augustine an early lead, Jesuit went on a run that gave the team its first—and only—lead of the game at 18-17 midway through the second quarter. But then it seemed as if an invisible lid was placed on the Blue Jay rim. St. Augustine went on a 10-1 run to close out the half and started the third quarter with six more unanswered points to build a 33-19 lead.
Despite the struggles from the field, Jesuit did manage to cut the lead to four late in the third quarter. That run was more than enough to get the crowd rocking and the rafters shaking again. But St. Augustine weathered the storm and pulled away again, increasing their lead to 14 points before a furious final rally in the game’s closing minute allowed the never-say-die boys in blue to close within seven for the final margin. That last minute included three Blue Jay steals and a defensive stop that saw Robert McMahon soar above the rim to deny an exclamation point dunk by the Purple Knights.
Through the Lens…
By the Numbers…
|Elijah Morgan (#10)
|24 points, 6 rebounds
|Noah Varnado (#23)
|8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals
|Nick Brewster (#5)
|5 points, 2 steals
In His Words…
Coach Chris Jennings spoke with The New Orleans Advocate after the game, saying “I thought the third quarter was key, particularly the beginning of it. We made some stops on them. We just didn’t make any shots.”
On the Horizon…
Jesuit closes out the regular season on Tuesday, Feb. 12 on the road at Brother Martin.