In the opening round of the Allstate Sugar Bowl CYO Basketball Classic at the Jesuit High School Recreation Center,

Jesuit and East Jefferson claimed victories Wednesday night.

East Jefferson, which beat St. Thomas Aquinas 62-43, and Jesuit, which edged Lusher 54-52, will play each other at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

JESUIT 54, LUSHER 52: It might have been a pre-Christmas game, but the contest between the Lions and Blue Jays had all the drama usually reserved for postseason tournaments.

“It’s just a tough game. You’ve got to do that,” said Blue Jays coach Chris Jennings. “You’ve got to be able to survive those kinds of games.”

The Blue Jays (2-0) ended the third quarter with a 39-34 lead and the fourth started with Jordan Smith sinking a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 39-37.

That was followed by a 3-pointer and a layup by the Blue Jays’ Brett Spansel for a 44-37 lead with 6:55 left in the game.

Davon Spencer hits the first of a one-and-one with 1:39 left. He then grabbed his own rebound and scores six seconds later to tie the game at 52. Smith then fouled the Blue Jays’ Foster Moreau and he makes both shots from the charity stripe for the final points.

“I thought they did a great job defensively,” Jennings said. “They made everything hard for us, everything difficult.”

EAST JEFFERSON 62, ST. THOMAS AQUINAS 43: The Falcons led after their first possession, and that was the only time they had an advantage. They did not hit double figures until the 2:28 mark of the second quarter when Cameron Dantzler scored to cut the Warriors’ lead to 24-11.

“I thought we pressured them pretty good,” said East Jefferson coach Ryan Dicharry.

But Dicharry said his team’s transition game needs work.

“We spent the second half not getting back,” he said.

Shaquille Preston led the Warriors with 13 and in the third quarter he gave his team a 36-16 lead when he scored at the 7:23 mark of the third quarter.

The Falcons chipped away at the advantage when Jacob Drummond scored less than a minute later.

Marcus Gibson scored two of his four points for the Warriors when he made a fastbreak layup at the 1:26 mark of the third quarter for a 46-31 lead.

Hunter Gebbia led the Falcons with a game-high 17.