Last weekend, Jesuit High School competed at the annual WildWest Shootout Tournament in Reno, Nevada.
Jesuit began the tournament by taking on the No. 1 ranked team in Nevada, Faith Lutheran High School, which had already started their season with a 2-0 record.
The heavily favored Crusaders got off to a blazing start with a 7-0 run. The Marauders answered with a three-pointer from shooting guard Desi Burrage ’21 and a fastbreak layup from point guard Isa Silva ’21 to shrink the deficit to two points.
In the second quarter, Jesuit battled to stay in the game as Silva and forward Jack Jones ’19 sank back-to-back three-pointers. However, Faith Lutheran maintained a 32-25 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Marauders went cold as they shot 12% from behind the arc, and the red-hot Crusaders nailed 36% of their three-pointers. The Crusaders received an incredible performance from sharpshooting senior Brevin Walter, who had 22 points and was 3-4 from long range.
Even with a late-game push from Jesuit, Faith Lutheran easily closed out the game and defeated the Marauders, 67-57.
Despite suffering a tough loss to open the tournament, the Marauders were determined to bounce back as they faced Douglas High School, who also lost their first game against Bishop Manogue High School, 73-39.
The Marauders started off strong with a 10-6 lead. Jesuit would increase its lead when forward Kyle Anderson ’20 knocked down a corner three.
In the second quarter, the Marauders were able to capitalize off the Tigers’ turnovers as Silva got a steal and scored off a fastbreak layup. Before the half, Burrage hit a three to give the Marauders a 43-28 lead.
In the second half, Jesuit continued to dominate as Anderson drained a shot from downtown. On the next play, Silva got a steal and connected with guard Nico Virga ’20 for a fastbreak layup. Jesuit forced another turnover as Jones threw down a two-hand jam which ignited the Marauders bench. Jones also got another huge bucket for Jesuit as he hit a three in transition to cushion Jesuit’s lead to 65-43.
Late in the fourth, Jesuit went on 23-4 run as guard Chris Holley ’21 found his stroke from deep. He sank back-to-back triples and then hit a dagger three that clinched the win for Jesuit for a final score of 88-57.
After going 1-1 in the first two games of the tournament, Jesuit would play its final game against Birmingham High School. The Patriots came in at .500 with a 3-3 record and had a 1-1 record in the tournament.
The Patriots would score the first basket of the game, but Jesuit responded with a three-pointer from Silva that started a 20-0 run for the Marauders. Jesuit’s huge first-quarter scoring push included two steals from forward Sam Daly ’19, which both resulted in fastbreak buckets and two threes from Anderson and Silva before Birmingham would finally score again.
In the second quarter, Silva got a steal and found Jones for the layup. Jesuit’s next possession resulted in another score from Jones, this time a three from the corner. Jones would continue his magnificent game as he scored 25 points against Birmingham.
In the second half, Jesuit continued to find the bottom of the net from three as Silva hit a three-pointer to increase Jesuit’s lead to 48-33. The Marauders would maintain this lead for the rest of the game and defeat the Patriots, 75-62.
Jesuit’s success in the tournament was clearly a team effort, but the team couldn’t have done it without the fantastic play of Silva, who earned all tournament honors while averaging 25 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Despite the huge performance, Silva credits his team’s mentality following their loss in the first game of the tournament.
“We responded well to adversity after a tough first loss against a good team in Faith Lutheran,” said Isa. “In the next two games, our energy stood out, and this led to us making shots. We trusted each other and owned the gym.”
Even with the early success for Jesuit, Assistant Coach Nick Hilton believes his team still has room for improvement.
“Going forward, we need to keep getting tougher and buying in on the defensive side of the ball,” said Hilton. “If we can up our intensity on defense while staying out of foul trouble, then we can get some solid wins this year.”
Jones also believes his team can play better, and he wants his teammates to be getting ready for their next tournament, the annual Father Barry Classic at home.
“We have much tougher competition this weekend in the Father Barry, and I’m excited to see how we can compete,” said Jones.
The Father Barry tournament will be the first time Jesuit plays at home this year. They begin the tournament with a game against Saint Patrick-Saint Vincent High School Dec. 6, at 6:45 p.m.