Jesuit’s basketball team continued to show signs of its preseason high expectations with a convincing 62-41 victory against Holy Cross on Tuesday night, but coach Chris Jennings wasn’t quite ready to label it a revival.
The victory followed Friday’s road win against Rummel.
Just as in Friday’s 23-10 fourth quarter, the Jays dominated Holy Cross 21-10 in the third quarter Tuesday.
Even in building a 49-28 halftime lead, the Jays did not display their usual offensive crispness nor defensive intensity.
“We talked about it at halftime,” Jennings said. “The things we were doing were really not representative of who we want to be.
“We talked about what he had to do to be a good basketball team, and in the third quarter, I thought we did it. In the third quarter, I thought we played well.”
The Jays (11-5, 2-2 in District 9-5A) meet District 9-5A leader St. Augustine on Friday night at St. Aug.
Against the Tigers, Trey Laforge scored 14 of the Jays’ 21 third-quarter points. Foster Moreau had the other seven. Except for a couple of fast breaks, most were scored during an outbreak of sharp passing and movement away from the ball.
When things began clicking,Paul Kohnke handled the ball out front.
“He does a good job of that,” Jennings said of Kohnke’s presence at the point in the third quarter.
“We talk about being multi-dimensional. He’s a real good defender, but we need him to handle the ball at times and to take some shots.
“Once we made the adjustments of what we need to do . .. everything just works better. It makes it easier for Trey; it makes it easier for Foster.”
Kohnke said he feels Jesuit can still be factor late in the season.
“I think we can still be one of the better teams in the district,” Kohnke said.
“But we’ve got to continue to buy into the things that Jesuit basketball does traditionally.
“We have to run the offense and play tough defense. We’ve got to be the first on the floor (for loose balls)”
Jesuit’s basketball season was set back by the football team’s extended season that ran into December and resulted in a state championship.
Four players who started against Holy Cross (1-3, 9-14) missed early games. Laforge (quarterback), Moreau (tight end), and Mark Bebee (cornerback) all started basketball practice late. In addition, Kohnke broke a finger and missed a part of nondistrict play.
“The (team) chemistry is not there yet,” he said. “It has to have an effect. No way it can’t impact us.
“But you know, whatever that is, that is.”
Is Jennings’ team meshing now?
“I don’t know; we’ll have to see how we do Friday night,” Jennings said.
When asked about St. Augustine, Kohnke said, “We don’t want to be soft like we were (in losing to) Brother Martin. St. Aug will kill us.”