Can Jesuit defeat the Huskies hype?

The Jesuit High School varsity basketball team started its Delta League season with a 3-0 record, but they will face their toughest test yet as they take on the Sheldon High School Huskies on Monday, Jan. 14th.

The Huskies, ranked No. 9 in the state and widely regarded as the best team in Northern California, have a 3-0 record after beating Pleasant Grove High School on Wednesday.

Sheldon looks to repeat its success from last year, in which they dominated the Delta League with a 14-0 record and made it to the CIF State Open Division Finals, losing only to another tradition-rich program, Sierra Canyon High School.

Even with the amazing season Sheldon had last year, their success stretches back even further. The team has had the best record in the Delta League for the past four years and has been so powerful against league opponents that they have not lost in more than 50 games.                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Their roster features players from last year’s team such as Xavion Brown and Kaito Williams, who have received offers from some of the best college programs in the nation. Despite all the hype surrounding the returning players, Sheldon has a newcomer who is already considered the best of them all.

Junior forward Marcus Bagley, brother of the Sacramento Kings first-round-pick Marvin Bagley, has captured the attention of some of the best college teams in the country with his highlight reel dunks and ability to dominate opponents as he did when he recently dropped 41 points against Davis High School.

With the constant attention and praise Sheldon receives, opposing players are also impressed with the talent on the Huskies’ roster. Jesuit forward Jack Jones ’19, coming off a 49-point game against Franklin High School, complimented Sheldon’s team.

“I know they have a lot of talented players, more than any other league opponent,” Jack said. “They’re a lot bigger. I know they got Marcus Bagley. I know their big man just got hurt, but they have really talented guards.”

The injured player Jones refers to is 6’ 11” center Joshua Morgan, who is committed to play at Long Beach State University.

As the Marauders prepare to battle the Huskies, Jesuit Head Coach Tim Kelly wants his team to focus on the game and not on issues that don’t concern the team.

“To win basketball games—not just against Sheldon—we need to be good decision-makers on the basketball court and be completely focused on winning the game as opposed to individual statistics and off-the-court distractions,” Kelly said.

In order to defeat a tough opponent like Sheldon, the Marauders will need to be at the top of their game. Jesuit guard Chris Holley ’21 wants his teammates to play hard and make the right decisions.

“We need to play as a team, get 50/50 balls, and get rebounds,” Chris said. “We also need to pass the ball and make smart decisions.”

Before the big game next Monday, both teams will be playing league games this Friday as Sheldon takes on Cosumnes Oaks High School and Jesuit plays Pleasant Grove.  

In a game featuring the area’s best team, fans should be excited to watch the Marauders battle against the Huskies at Jesuit next Monday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m.