As a coach, it’s difficult to say a a team played as well as it could in any contest. There’s always room for improvement. But in Saturday’s district tournament opener, Jefferson coach Sean Breeze didn’t have a lot he didn’t like in the Blue Jays’ 78-36 victory over Woodland.
“That was as good as the boys have executed a game plan all season,” Breeze commented after the game. And that’s not to say the team was perfect, but their execution of what they wanted to do was on point. “They have done everything I have asked all season,” he said. “That was as focused as I have seen them. The urgency of it being districts tends to bring that out, I think.”
The Jays wasted no time establishing their dominance and the tone of the game, racing out to a 25-8 lead after the first quarter. Easton Null, who would only play three quarters, decided 11 would be his favorite number. He scored 11 points in the quarter, Jon Weik added nine, and Jacob Bridges, five points.
Why was 11 Null’s favorite number? Because he would score 11 in the second quarter too, helping Jefferson to a 46-20 lead. Oh yeah, he’d score 11 more points in the third quarter, as the Blue Jays were in complete control, leading 70-28 going into the fourth quarter.
Null would score 33 points and surpass 1800 points for his career. He acknowledged that this was a major milestone in his career, but he really doesn’t have time to think about that right now. “Really, after high school basketball ends, it will probably hit me,” he stated. “We just know that we have to come out and play every game like it’s our last. If we do that, we know we will be fine.”
Weik finished the night with 23 points. He said the team has blinders on and won’t let anything distract them. “In my opinion, we just locked in. Coach Breeze kept nailing into our heads that we can win if we just have focus. As a team, we came together and focused on Woodland.”
Bridges also mentioned the team’s focus as they improve to 17-8 on the season. “Maybe our focus is just different now that it’s the post season,” he admits. “I’m going out and playing every game like it’s my last, because it could be my last. I’m also trying to win the first district title for the boys basketball program.” Bridges scored seven points in the contest.
Other scorers for the Blue Jays included Colton Richardson and Cole Holdinghausen with three points each. Erik Eisenbeis, Daylen Whitener, Hadyn Wagner, and Daniel McWhorter each had two points, and Colby Ott added one point.
Jefferson now faces Scott City in one district semifinal game on Tuesday. Scott City defeated Saxony Lutheran, 70-58 on Saturday to advance. Game time on Tuesday is at 7:30 at Jefferson High School.