Xavian McKay scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half as Holy Cross outscored Jesuit 20-3 in the final quarter, upsetting the Blue Jays 47-41 in a District 9 5-A game at Holy Cross on Friday night.
The game had significant playoff seeding consequences for the Jays (14-8, 5-4). Jesuit entered the week ranked No. 13 in the unofficial 5-A power rankings.
“This was huge win,” Holy Cross coach Mister Kirkwood said. “I don’t know how anybody else feels about it, but this is huge.”
Holy Cross (12-17) won only its third of nine district games.
Jesuit led by as much as 13 points in the second half and took a 38-27 advantage into the final period.
“We just couldn’t guard No. 12 (McKay),” Jesuit coach Chris Jennings said. “He just went off us. We did not do a good job on him.”
Through the first three periods, Jesuit outrebounded Holy Cross 26-10. Holy Cross neutralized that advantage in the fourth quarter.
Jesuit made only one field goal in the fourth period and finished shooting 29 percent (14 of 48) from the field.
“We just kind of disappeared in the fourth quarter,” Jennings said. “I’m not sure what happened offensively . . . lack of movement, perhaps.
“But (McKay) was scoring every time down.”
McKay had 10 points in the final period including the first basket of the period, but Darius Rodrigue and Darius Every followed him with jump shots that quickly cut into the Jays lead, making it a 38-34. Every’s was a 3-pointer.
“Coach just told us to stay positive and realize we could still win,” McKay said. “We came together as a team. “The rebounding was a big piece. Coach told us we all had to get to the boards and get the ball.”
Jesuit isolated center Foster Moreau on the low post in the second quarter and his eight-point quarter and five turnovers by Holy Cross enabled Jesuit to take a 23-16 halftime lead.
With Moreau controlling the area in the low post, the Jays out rebounded the Tigers 18-5 in the first half. Moreau had nine. He finished with 10 rebounds and 21 points before fouling out with 40 seconds to play.
Holy Cross and Jesuit were tied at 11 after one quarter. But, until Josh Williams hit a 55-foot 3-pointer that just beat the halftime buzzer, the Tigers had only a single second-quarter bucket.
McKay scored seven points in the first quarter as Holy Cross jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the first four minutes. Two free throws by Moreau gave Jesuit its first lead (11-9) with 1:36 remaining in the quarter.
Jesuit won the first meeting between the two teams, 62-41.
Before the fourth quarter, Kirkwood told his team “to just play as though it was scoreless. I told them we could still be a factor in (determining) the district.”