Even before opening Catholic League play, Chris Jennings’ suspicion was that his Jesuit basketball team was good.
It may be time for an upgrade.
The Blue Jays invaded the home court of early league leader Rummel Tuesday night and proceeded to dismantle the Raiders in a 61-39 District 9-5A victory on Jim Robarts Court.
Guards Will Landrieu and Elijah Morgan scored 16 and 15 points respectively to pace the victors’ offensively while backcourt mate Michael Hull and forwards Zachary Deblieux and Drew Black each contributed 8 points apiece.
Jesuit (13-3, 2-0) replaced Rummel (15-7, 2-1) as the Catholic League leader although the Blue Jays do have some company from Brother Martin (12-7, 2-0) as the Crusaders won at Shaw, 74-64, Tuesday night.
“We’re a good team,’’ Jennings said after his team recorded its fourth straight victory and eighth in nine games. “We just have to see how it goes. So ask me again in five games. I do think we can compete with anyone we walk on the floor with and that’s a sign of a good team.
“I think our confidence is building within the whole team. I didn’t see any hesitation by anyone. You could see that in our shot selection and in the way people were moving.’’
Jesuit took command early in establishing a 34-17 halftime advantage constructed in large part via a 23-12 first period as Morgan and Hull scored 9 and 8 points respectively that was complimented by the 6 and 5 points contributed by Landrieu and Deblieux.
The Blue Jays’ first-half lead reached 20 points twice late in the second period prior to a long 3-point field goal by Rummel guard Dante Mitchell with one second remaining that closed out the first half scoring.
Landrieu and Morgan’s scoring kept the pressure on during a 17-6 third quarter as Landrieu scored 11 points via three 3-pointers and a fourth jump shot and Morgan added a pair of 2-pointers. A steal and basket by Morgan produced Jesuit’s largest lead of 29 points at 51-22 with 58 seconds remaining in the period.
Rummel got no closer than 25 until hitting seven of its final nine free throw attempts in the final 3:36 to account for the final margin that ended a four-game winning streak.
“Ball movement was big for us tonight and being patient on offense,’’ Hull said. “And we had effort, big effort, along with defensive pressure.’’
Jesuit’s defense again was impressive in forcing the Raiders into an 11-for-30 shooting effort after limiting St. Augustine to 35 points in a one-point victory on Friday night at the Jesuit gym.
The Blue Jays hit 24 of 42 field goal attempts with one third of those made field goals being 3-pointers.
Guard Nick Artigues and forward Drew Black grabbed 7 and 6 rebounds respectively as the Blue Jays recorded a commanding 30-19 advantage on the boards.
Mitchell and fellow guard Iman Fazande paced Rummel with 12 and 10 points respectively.
Jesuit moves on to play at Holy Cross (13-8, 1-2) at 7 p.m. Friday. Holy Cross lost at John Curtis, 65-62, Tuesday night as Curtis improved to 6-12 overall and 1-2 in 9-5A.
The Raiders next play at St. Augustine (13-9, 0-1) at 7 p.m. Friday. St. Augustine was off Tuesday after losing a non-district game at Ellender, 59-52, on Monday.