Photo Courtesy of Jerrianne Wallace
The Jefferson boys varsity basketball team stands at 12-11 heading into the final week of the regular season, after splitting two games against local teams. The Blue Jays downed the Festus Tigers on Tuesday, 62-43, but fell in a close one to St. Pius last night, losing 59-53. Both games were played at home.
Against Festus, the Jays opened up a lead early in the game and never looked back. Jon Weik had an amazing first half, hitting for 21 points as Jefferson built off a 17-7 first quarter lead and made it 37-15 at halftime.
“We came out shooting the ball extremely well in the first half and built a 22 point halftime lead,” head coach Sean Breeze said. “Jon was on a roll early, hitting five first half three pointers.”
Despite the Tigers outscoring JHS 28-25, Festus never really challenged the home team in the second half. “The defensive effort was really good from the entire team,” Breeze pointed out. “Levi Ebersoldt and Dawson Jakoubek played great defense on the interior, and all of our guards did a great job helping and closing out shooters. Daylen Whitener had his best showing in a while on both ends of the floor.”
Weik finished with 24 points. He also added nine rebounds and two blocks. Whitener added ten points, while Hadyn Wagner scored nine points. Wagner dished off seven assists. Rounding out the scoring was Nolan Roth with eight points, Ebersoldt with six, Colby Ott added three points, and Colton Richardson chipped in with two points.
Last night, the team’s three game winning streak was stopped at the hands of the St. Pius Lancers. It was a classic rivalry game with the Blue Jays on top 17-16 after the first quarter, and 28-27 at halftime. Ott and Wagner led the way for Jefferson, scoring 12 and nine points apiece. “It was a packed and extremely loud gym all night,” Coach Breeze said after the game. “And those fans saw a great game. It was back and forth all game up until the end.”
That one point lead was tenuous, and the Lancers finally took the lead in the third, 46-43 heading into the fourth quarter. “We started to wear down in the fourth quarter and had a lot of trouble keeping Pius from getting to the rim,” Breeze mentioned. St. Pius outscored the Blue Jays 13-10 in the final period.
Ott led the team with 20 points, while Wagner scored 14. Weik was held to six points, while Roth tallied five. Whitener scored four points, and Ebersoldt and Richardson chipped in with two points apiece. “Whitener, Ebersoldt, and Weik all played very good defense all night, but it just wasn’t enough against a very talented team,” Breeze noted.
Wagner said the team showed a lot in the two games. “Throughout the Festus and Pius games, we have had success. Our defense has been very good, we are confusing teams with switching our defenses up, and we are also getting transition points out of it. Our offense has come along in these two games, and as a team, we are shooting the ball well. We have to keep things rolling going into our final game and into districts.”
Jefferson will play its final regular season game on Tuesday as they host St. Paul. The varsity game will start around 7:00 p.m. Then the Class 3, District 3 tournament begins on the following Monday at Herculaneum High School. The Blue Jays earned the #3 seed, and will face #6 Kingston at 3:30. For a look at the complete bracket, follow this link: Class 3, District 3 Bracket