Racing up and down the court, players scramble for control of the ball, fighting tirelessly for every point. With each possession, the ball moves swiftly through the air, around the defense, behind it, and into the hoop. At one moment, the players condense together to play defense, and in the next, they’re spreading out as they rush down the court on a counterattack. The clock ticks down to 1 second, and with a quick pass, a player receives the ball and lofts it up as the buzzer blares through the stadium, nailing a three-pointer to win the game. This was just one of the incredible moments for JV Gold basketball in December.
During the month of December, the JV Gold basketball team competed in 9 games, including the Italy tournament and the Jesuit Holiday tournament. The team was coming off a dominating 4-win performance in the Naaman Forest tournament and entered this series with a 5-1 record. In the Italy tournament, held on the weekend of December 9th, Jesuit breezed by their first three opponents Life School (W 78-25), Midlothian Heritage (W 72-35), and Dawson (W 78-25), achieving almost a 50-point differential in each game. For the final game, the team faced off against Italy and secured a decisive victory, winning 58-30.
Commenting on the source of their newfound success, Darryl Brown ‘20 stated “To start the season, we were all kind of feeling each other out, our strengths and weaknesses. It was obvious we didn’t all completely buy in to the whole team chemistry thing, and it showed on the court. Around the month of December, I we really came together and began working as a unit.” Despite winning almost all their previous games, Darryl believed the team wasn’t exhibiting their full potential, a claim proven by Jesuit’s dominating performance in the Italy tournament.
Coming off of this hot streak, the JV team played in two exciting games, including one against a big district opponent, Coppell. In the first game, they battled against Timberview in a nail-biting performance, edging them out 60-59 in overtime. Explaining the team’s miraculous victory, Christian Allocco ‘20 noted “Darryl Brown hit a game winning fade-away as the buzzer sounded. It was awesome.”
With this momentum, they entered into the Coppell game ready to give it their all. Unfortunately, it was not enough as they were defeated 47-55, a tough loss which ended their win streak.
Reflecting on the game, Darryl Brown’ 20 shared “I would say the Coppell game in mid-December was probably the biggest moment for us as a team. We had rolled through opponent after opponent and it was important for us to wake up and realize we weren’t invincible.”
This sentiment was shared by Christian Allocco ‘20, who added, “we needed to work on playing as a team, and not as a bunch of individuals.”
With these realizations in mind, the team entered the Jesuit Holiday tournament and clashed with Plano, Highland Park, and Wylie during the weekend of December 28. Against their first opponent, Plano, Jesuit scraped by with a 38-37 win, but against their second opponent Highland Park, they swept the court clean, winning 91-28. However, coming off these two wins, they ultimately lost their final game against Wylie, 47-55.
Despite not performing as well as in previous tournaments, Coach Murphy noted, “The players did a great job playing together as a team. They found a way to win the close game when they needed to.” Further, he qualified the team’s performances during the entirety of the season as well, mentioning “We were hit by the flu pretty hard this year. The players were resilient though, and everyone stepped up. I had a lot of confidence in this team, because they played hard and played together.
Overall, the team finished December with a 7-2 record, a strong performance which thrust the team with momentum into the remainder of their season.