BOYS BASKETBALL: The Crusaders improve to 4-0 with a 49-35 victory
BEAVERTON - Just when Tigard thought Jesuit would tire, the Crusaders sent in the reinforcements and never let up the pressure in their non-league boys basketball game Friday night.
Jesuit took turns swarming and smothering the Tigers, using frequent substitutions in mounting a 33-15 halftime lead the Crusaders rode to a 49-35 victory at Jesuit High School.
The Crusaders were also sharp on the offensive end in the first half with six different players connecting from behind the arc as Jesuit drained nine 3-pointers before the intermission.
'We had high pressure and our shots were falling,' said Jesuit senior Dan Feest, who scored a game-high 17 points. 'Coach wants us all to be fresh and go 110 percent the whole game.'
'We just executed our game plan perfectly,' Crusaders senior John Elorriaga said. 'Everything went our way.'
And little the way of Tigard, which succumbed to Jesuit's full-court press, constant traps and unrelenting defense with numerous turnovers. The Tigers led 5-3 early then went 9 minutes, 53 seconds without scoring and 11:31 without a field goal before finishing the first half on an 8-3 run.
'We knew they were going to trap,' Tigard senior Shawn Driskill said. 'We didn't handle it very well. We turned the ball over too much.'
Jesuit steadily built its lead by limiting the Tigers' opportunities and making the most of its own. The Crusaders patiently waited for the open shot, which often came off a pick that freed one of its many shooters behind the arc.
'We stay patient and get the best shot,' said Elorriaga, who had 11 points. 'We're not the biggest team so we have to make the most of them.'
And Jesuit did, scoring its first 12 and 15 of 17 first-quarter points on 3-pointers from five different players. Junior Michael Hart capped the 14-0 run when he popped open on the top of the arc, took a pass from Feest and swished a three just before the first-quarter buzzer.
The Crusaders, which improved to 4-0, didn't stop until they had reeled off 24 straight points for a 27-5 lead with 2:45 left in the second quarter.
Feest had a fastbreak layin off a Raphiel Lambert steal and drained a pair of 3-pointers to tally eight straight Jesuit points midway through the second quarter.
Tigard closed the first half on an 8-3 run and outscored the Crusaders 20-16 in the second half, using some pressure of its own. The Tigers trimmed the deficit to 35-27 after holding Jesuit to just two points in the third quarter, but couldn't maintain the momentum and fell to 3-2.
'Down 18 at the half, what do you have to lose?' Tigard senior Josh Harbolt said. 'Go out and fly around and play hard.'
Junior Ryan Gorton led the Tigers with 10 points.
For a complete story, with more statistics and photos, see the Dec. 21 issue of The Beaverton Valley Times and The Tigard/Tualatin Times.