There’s a good start and good 3-point shooting, and then there’s what Jesuit did against John Ehret on Wednesday night.
Jesuit made 12 3-pointers on 12-of-16 shooting from beyond the arc and 28 of 39 overall to throttle the Patriots 70-24 in the opening round of the Newman Invitational Tournament.
The Blue Jays (8-0) were led by Elijah Morgan, who finished with 21 points, including 7 of 7 from beyond the 3-point line. Morgan scored 12 points in the first quarter on a night where he didn’t have to work too long because most of Jesuit's starters played less than half the game.
“We obviously shot the ball really well,” coach Chris Jennings said. “We had six 3-pointers to start the game, which was able to give us a little distance. We always play pretty good defense, so things worked out for us.”
Getting a performance like the one Morgan gave obviously was a huge help as well, he said.
“We have to get him a lot of help as well too, which we normally do," Jennings said. "This is the night where things were just going in for him. He’s capable of scoring a lot of points quickly, which is good, but we have to continue to give him help because he can’t do it all on his own.”
The Patriots (1-4) couldn’t get anything going, as their defense allowed Jesuit to get off to a 20-0 start after the first quarter. Their offense wasn’t much better as six players scored compared to Jesuit’s 12 while Ehret's leading scorer, Teddy Butcher, had only 7 points.
“We have to come ready to work hard every day,” Ehret coach Allen Collins said. “We have to throw this game away and get better after this one. Everyone’s not going to have a great night, but we have to put more effort in. Having said that, kudos to Jesuit. They’re well coached, well-disciplined and they can shoot the heck out of the basketball.”
After the one-sided first quarter, when Jesuit made six 3-pointers to start the game, the roll continued in the second quarter as Jesuit went into halftime having missed only five shots as a team while leading 33-5.
The third quarter saw Morgan score 9 more points on 3-pointers, and the Blue Jays continued to soar, pulling all of their starters before the end of the quarter as they led 60-13. Nothing changed in the fourth as Jesuit continued to stroll.
Jesuit will face Country Day in the tournament’s second round. Morgan said he felt confident going forward after the win.
“We just have to keep playing defense,” he said. “That’s where it all starts. That and we just have to keep running our offense and trust our teammates while playing with the chemistry that we know we have, and we should be good.”