The high school gym stands as an epicenter of school tradition and spirit with its years of pep rallies, games, and events held within its walls. Jesuit’s own Walsh Gym follows a similar pattern, being a hub for athletic events and extracurricular activities and is the scene of one of the most competitive clubs Jesuit offers: JBA.
The Jesuit Basketball Association, JBA, offers junior and senior basketball enthusiasts to play at the intermural level in a ten man league. The top eight make the playoffs after a regular season to determine the seeding, then playoffs determine the winner, with the matchups comparable to the NBA playoffs (i.e. 1 vs 8, 2 vs. 7). The ten teams battled all throughout February and March, meeting every other Sunday to play.
This year’s champions, What Da Heckel, started off as the number 3 seed in the tournament and battled to victory against the top two seeds to claim the title. The Roundup‘s own senior editor Matt Musso was the owner of the squad. WDH battled against the #1 seed favorite Granting L’s, in a tough best-of-5 championship series. At first, Granting L’s came out hot, hitting their shots and winning the first game, but that didn’t change WDH’s confidence. They marched right back and won three games in a row behind the impressive post moves from David Fulkerson ’17, the aggressive defense from Michael Clarkson ’17 and Musso and the overall energy brought by Will Naquin ’17. Marc Riccione ’17, Luke Nolan ’17, and Evan Jackson ’17 all came up with clutch shots to keep the momentum going, while Dalton Allen ’17 and Jake Pagel ’17 were draining three’s left and right. The combination of every player’s efforts helped the team gain a championship victory.
The players also gave their comments about the championship series as a whole, and what the win means to them.
Naquin first said that “I was a little worried after we lost the first game, but I knew we were a better team overall. That definitely showed because we went on to dominate three games in a row.”
Pagel agreed with Naquin, commenting that “from the beginning, most teams had an edge over us but when we all worked together we found ourselves holding the trophy in the end.”
Jackson praised his teammates’ efforts, noting that “I knew we were gonna win when Musso hit a couple of three’s to give us the momentum. David’s huge presence in the paint was also a huge factor as he picked up boards and dominated inside.”
Fulkerson was just happy to play the game, as he “thought playing in the JBA was great this year. I loved every game with my team, and each week we had a different lineup because of guys being out and always found a way to win.”
The Roundup would like to congratulate every member of JBA on a fantastic 2017 season, especially the champions on a special achievement.