“Winning is important to me, but what brings me real joy is the experience of being fully engaged in whatever I’m doing.” (Phil Jackson)
The Jesuit basketball has kept up their winning streak with a score of 69-41 against Denton on Nov. 21, 2017, 53-51 against Plano East on Nov. 28, 2017, and 68-60 against Lee on Nov. 24, 2017. The basketball team also competed in and won the 55th Annual Knights of Columbus Bob Stras Dallas Classic Tournament from Nov. 30 – Dec. 2.
The Rangers started out the first quarter of the game against Denton with a 6-0 lead. Jesuit had the higher leg until Denton passed them with a 19-17 lead in the last six minutes of the second quarter.
Once Michael Jankovich ’18 made a jumper that sparked a 31-2 run, the Rangers tied up the score. Jesuit played a 7-0 run in the fourth quarter that guaranteed them a win with 5:30 left of the game.
The game against Plano East came down to a close score, but Jesuit finished the second half with a comeback and walked out with another win. Jesuit began to lead the game in the first quarter, but Plano East caught up with a 13-7 run. However, Jesuit raised the lead in the third quarter with a 10-0 run. The Panthers seized the lead with 36 seconds left in the third quarter, but Jesuit made a seven-point run that got them the win.
“We were still trying to get in a groove so we were still a little rusty,” commented Chris Horton ’18. He explained that Coach Chris Hill had a plan for the team to help them learn how to stay alert in the second half.
Horton ’18 continued:
“Coach really wanted us to get focused late in the game. Guys made big plays late in the game to help us [to] win. The team learned a lot about staying locked in after such a close game.”
Jesuit won the close game against Lee with a score of 68-60 by gaining a seven-point lead in the first half of the first quarter. By halftime, the Rangers had a 38-22 lead, assisted by a made Marcus Hill ’18 three with 24 seconds remaining in the half.
During the third quarter, Lee made a 16-1 run and cut the Jesuit lead to only six points ahead. Horton’s three-pointer and Julius Marble ’19’s layup caused the lead to increase by another five points, but the Generals caught up and led by nine points entering the fourth quarter. Jesuit converted 9-out-of-10 free throws and Reid Hatzmann ’18 went 6-of-6 at the free-throw line with a minute and a half left of the game to acquire the victory.
Knights of Columbus Tournament
Over the entire tournament, the team had many opportunities to display their excellent passes and shots and dominate over the competition. The tournament consisted of three different games that the Jesuit team played in, all taking place at our very own campus.
The team won against Memorial in the first game with a score of 75-30 and won the championship bracket game against Tascosa 64-41. The team triumphed over St. Ignatius in the final championship game 72-61, securing them the Knights of Columbus title.
One of the senior players in the tournament, Reid Hatzmann, reflected on the team’s and his own performance throughout the three consecutive games:
“The tournament was a great experience for me. I thought while I personally played well, our team played even better…It was incredible to watch us play together, and to feel how well we meshed on the court.”
“We played very well. We shared the ball, shot well, and had a great presence all weekend on the defensive end of the floor,” mentioned Coach Hill.
“We really shared the ball which made us extremely hard to guard. [The] guys played very unselfishly. Our defensive intensity was exceptional as well…I was very proud of how the boys competed,” he explained.
Chris Horton acknowledged the consistently exceptional individual and team performance throughout the tournament and in the game against Tascosa:
“We had a huge student section which really sparked our team. We went on a big run in the middle of the game and didn’t look back. Marcus and Julius both scored the ball really well…which helped catalyze a big win.”
Looking towards the rest of the season, Coach Chris Hill acknowledged some of his goals for the team as a whole:
“Our goal is to become the best team that we can be. Wherever that gets us will be icing on the cake if we can get to be the best team we are capable of becoming.”
Check back to the Roundup for more Jesuit Basketball and other news!