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Crusaders brush away Skyhawk threat in round one

Jesuit uses a 23-6 edge in the second quarter to win easily


BEAVERTON — Tuesday’s Southridge-at-Jesuit match-up in the first round of the 2013 Metro League boys basketball race was supposed to be a showdown between the league’s top two teams.

Instead, it turned into a big-time blowout.

The third-ranked Crusaders — who’ve won the Metro crown five years in a row and also hold a four-year winning streak at the Class 6A state tournament — took over with a 23-6 edge in the second quarter and rode that advantage to a lopsided 71-40 victory at Jesuit High School in both teams’ league openers.by: MILES VANCE - CHALLENGING - Jesuit's Cooper Sprunk (right) leaps to try and block a shot by Southridge's Caleb Herzberg during Jesuit's Tuesday win.

“It kind of sends a message to the league that we’re here,” said Jesuit senior guard Khyan Rayner, who led all scorers with 30 points. “We just didn’t want to give them the confidence that they could come back and beat us next game.”

“We made some small mental mistakes, but we hustled, and luckily, we were able to make up for those mental lapses,” said Jesuit senior wing Sean Milligan, who added 13 points, four blocked shots, two assists and two steals. “We definitely kept the pressure on. We don’t want to give them hope for the next game.”

The win lifted Jesuit to 1-0 in league play and 12-2 overall, while the Skyhawks lost for the first time in their last three games and fell to 0-1 and 7-7.

“I don’t feel like we were mentally prepared for this game,” said Southridge senior guard Caleb Herzberg, who led the Skyhawks with 13 points. “We kind of went out and waited to see what they were going to do instead of playing our game.”

“We missed a lot of shots we should have made and they were shooting unbelievably well tonight,” added Southridge senior wing Kevin McClean, who added eight points in the loss. “It should definitely be a better match-up next time.”

The Skyhawks kept it close early on Tuesday, getting five first-quarter points from Herzberg, another four from McClean, and trailed just 14-12 when Caleb Dozier took a Grant Giraldi pass and knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key with just 17 seconds left in the opening quarter.

But the Crusaders closed that opening frame with a Rayner “three,” then just flat took over in the second quarter. There, Jesuit held the Skyhawks to just 2-of-12 shooting from the field while knocking down its first six six shots of the period and 11-of-14 overall.

Rayner caused the most damage in that second stanza, hitting 5-of-8 shots from the floor and boosting his team’s edge to 36-18 when he scored on a drive with 1 minute, 24 seconds left before halftime. Daniel Nelson then added a late fast break hoop assisted by Rayner to extend the Crusaders’ edge to a commanding 40-18 margin at the break.

“We were really trying to push the tempo, get up in them trap them all over the court,” Rayner said. “That was really the mindset from the beginning, the game plan from the beginning, and we just kind of maintained that all game.”

“We’ve got a lot of speed on our team, a lot of guards, and we’re really deep so we know that if we’re out there running our hardest, we have a sub that can come in and can do well also,” Milligan explained.

The Skyhawks, picked along with Sunset as the team most likely to challenge Jesuit this year, tried to rally in the third quarter, but just didn’t have it. Southridge hit just 3-of-13 shots from the floor in that third period, turned the ball over seven times and saw its last hopes of a comeback fade away. Jesuit sophomore wing Ryan Bay did his part to make that happen, knocking down a three-pointer and scoring five of his nine points in the frame, his “three” from the right corner pushing the Crusaders’ lead to 51-22 with 2:05 left in the third.

Jesuit led by 26 at the start of the fourth quarter, took their margin to 61-25 on two Milligan foul shots with 5:22 left, and never let the Skyhawks closer than 31 points the rest of the way.

“If they would have gotten back into it, that might have helped them later on, so we just wanted to prove to the league we’re here,” said Rayner, who hit 12-of-21 shots from the field (including four three-pointers) and both his foul shots, while Milligan went 5-of-6 from the floor and 3-of-3 at the line.

For Southridge, Herzberg hit 3-of-8 shots from the field (all “threes”) and all four of his foul shots. The Skyhawks turned the ball over 16 times in the loss, while Jesuit committed 17 TOs.

“I think we’re just as fast and just as good as Jesuit,” Herzberg said. “We’ve just got to bring it next time and it’s going to be a different game.”

“I think we had the right idea, we just didn’t execute it,” McClean said. “We weren’t used to seeing what they had and how fast they were. We just need to get the right lineup that we practiced and just execute the way we were coached.”

To see a complete photo gallery from this event, please go to milesvance.exposuremanager.com.



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