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Crusader boys hoops compress Warriors

Jesuit holds Aloha to just 15 points in final three quarters


by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit junior wing Ryan McEvoy looks for an open teammate along the baseline in the fourth quarter of the Crusaders win versus Aloha.

In the case of the Jesuit boys' basketball team, offense can vary from game-to-game.

Some nights, the shots might not fall. Others, the ball might not flow like the Crusaders are accustomed to. And, because a certified go-to scorer hasn't emerged on the squad quite yet, Jesuit's not always certain on what players are going to receive offensively or who will take the scoring reins.

What the Crusaders can control — as they sort through their offense and continue to come out with ways to put the ball in the hole — is their defensive diligence and dedication to that end of the floor.

Taking on an Aloha team coming of its first Metro League win in nearly two years and playing before a full house of Warrior fans, Jesuit's offense was more than laudable.

The Crusaders' defense, however, was unconditionally two-fisted, entangling the Warriors to just 22 total points and 15 over the final three quarters for a trouble-free, 56-22, win on Friday.

“We know our defense is always there,” said Jesuit junior forward Jack Nadelhoffer. “Our offense is something that comes and goes, but one thing we can always rely on is our defense. We know we're one of the best defensive teams in the state. That's something we really like to do well in.”

Aloha was within 11-7 going into the second quarter after Jay Garmondeh scored on a backdoor lay-up, and Terrell Gayhart ran off a baseline screen and buried a right-corner three just before the first-quarter buzzer. Edgar Guerra's driving lay-up at the start of the second quarter slit Jesuit's bump to 13-9.

Having said that, once Jesuit amplified its defense, started playing fiercely on the glass and running the floor hard, the Crusaders essentially had the Warriors begging for mercy.

“After that three (at the end of the first quarter) I think we got a little cocky and didn't start playing as good defense or making hard cuts,” said Aloha junior Steven Boswell. “We didn't show up. We just kind of rolled over. I don't think (Jesuit) beat us. They're a good team, but we beat ourselves. We didn't execute as well.”

At one point in the second quarter, Jesuit turned Aloha over four straight times and went on a 10-0 run to snatch a 23-9 advantage. The Crusaders obtained a big contribution from Jack Bell, who dove on the hardwood for a loose ball that triggered a transition hoop, converted a tough bucket on the break and drilled a three. Collin Landry stepped up too, hitting a corner three and sailing down the baseline for a nifty lefty reverse lay-up.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit junior point guard Reid Bucy goes up for an off-balance lay-up attempt in the third quarter of the Crusaders win over Aloha on Friday.

All that Jesuit garnered on offense in the second quarter — outscoring the Warriors 18-6 — was predicated on its defensive endeavors in stopping the skilled Boswell. The Crusaders shaded a supplementary defender toward the 6-foot-8 pivot, which made entry passes overly difficult for the Warrior guards to get inside. Their pressure on the basketball and willingness to mirror Aloha's ball fakes, but not fall for them, was just hurtful to the Warriors' attack.

“We were just killing ourselves,” said Aloha senior guard Nate Christophersen. “We weren't spaced out enough, and we had too many turnovers. We came out flat and weren't ready to play.”

Nadelhoffer and senior power forward Henry Mondeaux bodied Boswell out to the perimeter. And if the Warrior caught the ball in the paint, he was immediately greeted by a double team arriving from the weakside. No matter who they play, whether it's Bishop Gorman or Beaverton, Jesuit takes away the opposing team's strength and lets the other four players on the floor beat them. Not only did the Crusaders limit Boswell's touches in the paint, they were content to let the other Warriors fire away misses from the outside.

“It's always frustrating,” said Boswell. “The thing that hurt us today was we weren't hitting shots. In the first quarter, I established a low-post presence, and the rest of the game they were doubling. If we would've taken our time making shots that would've opened up a lot of things.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit junior shooting guard Ryan Bay blocks Aloha's Edgar Guerra jumper in the first quarter of the Crusaders 56-22 rout of the Warriors.

After Jesuit collected Aloha's turnover or snatched the ball off the glass, it was off and running on the break where the Crusaders devastated their Metro foe with deft drives and sound decisions on two-on-one and three-on-two situations.

“Our offense basically happened after our defense,” said Landry. “We'd force a miss, and then we'd get out and run and get easy baskets. I think everyone on the team scored and that's just due to our offense and how much we move and screen for other people. We just look for everyone that's open and look to get them the ball in the right situations.”

Off the block

Mondeaux said he and Nadelhoffer wanted to keep Boswell as far off the block as possible and credited Bell, Reid Bucy and Dan Nelson for digging down and clawing at the 6-foot-8 Warrior.

“We just pressured them, doubled down in the post, knew who their players were that could shoot and got it done,” said Nadelhoffer.

“The main thing was not letting (Boswell) get the ball because he's so good down low and finishes so well,” added Mondeaux.

Gayhart's midrange jumper with 3:10 left in the third quarter pulled Aloha to within 30-17, but Bell bounced back with a quick lay-up off the window. On the next possession, Landry dribbled up the floor in transition, but nobody stopped the ball on Aloha's behalf, so the junior forward waltzed down Main Street for the easy deuce. Then, with just 4.7 seconds left in the stanza, Bucy took two dribbles just inside half court and splashed home a three from about 35 feet away to go up 37-17 at the end of the third.

Bucy scored seven more points in the fourth. Ryan McEvoy and Mitchell Schafer also scored in the fourth. Gayhart led the Warriors with eight points. Boswell tacked on six.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Aloha senior guard Edgar Guerra drives by Jesuits Ryan McEvoy on his way to the hoop for two.

“I thought our offense was key in holding them to so little points,” said Mondeaux. “They like to slow it down and run a lot of sets. And since we were really pushing it up and getting easy baskets, we were able to keep them to a low amount of points.”

Jesuit rebounded well after dropping a surprising 43-42 decision to Southridge in its first game of Metro play. They're just a half game back of Sunset in the league standings, with a huge home showdown with the Apollos coming down the pike on Friday at 7:15 p.m.

“We kind of went in complacent to our first Metro game after running through Metro the last two years” said Nadelhoffer. “Going into Southridge, we thought we had it. But, that loss just sparked us and made us realize that we're going to have to fight for every win in Metro. We were ready to go today.”



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  • 22 Sep 2014

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