Jays Drop Defensive Battle to Easton
The Jesuit basketball team had a dream first quarter against the Warren Easton Eagles at the Birdcage on Saturday, Nov. 28. The offense created easy shots off solid screens and crisp cuts. Defensively, the Jays boxed out with a vengeance and seemed to track down every loose ball. Sophomore Patrick Schwing capped off the quarter by draining a buzzer beater. The result was an 11-3 advantage after the first eight minutes of play.
If only the game had ended there. From that point on, Easton outscored Jesuit 38-20 to post a 41-31 victory.
Perhaps coincidentally, the tide began to turn in the second quarter when senior Rob Weiss went to the bench with his third foul. Easton’s press began creating turnovers, and by halftime the Eagles held a 19-14 lead.
The early minutes of the second half provided more of the same. When Easton scored a breakaway dunk off yet another turnover with 4:13 remaining in the third quarter, pushing their lead to 25-16, Coach Chris Jennings ’78 had seen enough and called a timeout.
When the Jays returned to the floor, their defensive intensity picked up markedly. Suddenly, Easton was committing more turnovers. Unfortunately, that defensive intensity came with a price. When Jesuit went to the foul line, tired legs led to poor free throw percentages. The Jays, who shot 83% from the line in a win over Mandeville earlier in the week, were an abysmal 8-19 (42%) from the charity stripe on Saturday night. The inability to convert free throws prevented Jesuit from making a serious run, although they did cut the lead to six at one point in the fourth quarter.
Easton was equally bad from the free throw line, also shooting 42 percent (13 of 31).
The tenacious defense caused both teams to struggle from the field as well. Jesuit drained only one of 19 three-point attempts on the night. Easton, meanwhile, was zero for nine from outside the arc. Things weren’t much better from two-point range. Jesuit shot 22% from inside the stripe, while Easton converted 37% of their two-point attempts.
Junior Brendan Conroy led the Jays with eight points on the night. Junior Chris Beebe pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Jays dropped to 1-2 on the season with the loss. They’ll get a chance to climb back to the .500 mark when they open play in the Allstate Sugar Bowl CYO Tournament against Lake Area on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the birdcage.