by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit senior power forward Marco Urbina and the Crusaders pulled away from Timberline in the fourth quarter of the Crusaders' win in the first round of the Les Schwab Invitational on Friday.

In a battle of cohesive team basketball versus single-handed audacity, the Jesuit boys’ basketball team once again proved that five guys working together as one can upstage almost any individual solo star.

Facing ultra-athletic Timberline (Wash.) High and its 6-foot-6 senior standout Donaven Dorsey in the first round of the Les Schwab Invitational on Friday, the Crusaders were unswerving in their share-the-sugar on offense and prison-yard defensive ways.

Jesuit extinguished Dorsey to the tune of 16 points on 6-21 from the floor, outrebounded the Blazers 43-28, and toppled Timberline with 11 assists compared to just 2 on Timberline’s behalf to take the contest, 55-41.

“When we come into games like this, we know we’re the underdogs,” said junior wing Ryan Bay, who had 13 points and four assists. “We know we have to hustle, fly around. We have to double (team) and talk. We have to play like underdogs even if people say we’re the team to beat. We have to give everything we have. When we bring the energy like we did today, we know we can compete with anybody.”

Head coach Gene Potter’s preachings on the fundamentals of offense: being strong with the basketball, playing selfless, getting everybody included are harped on every day in practice, and it showed against Timberline.

An 8-0 run by Timberline brought the Blazers within 22-19 with 4:02 left in the second quarter.

But, Jesuit closed the second quarter with an 8-0 spurt of its own, putting on a beautiful display of passing, cutting, and anticipating where the Timberline defense was going to be in order to exploit holes in the 2-3 zone. Bay said Jesuit’s floor spacing was satisfactory throughout, and its willingness to set solid screens out of its motion offense freed up cutters and passing possibilities.

“When we keep the floor spaced, we can operate and drive,” said Bay. “We can make shots like Jack (Nadelhoffer) like did and a lot of us did down the stretch. This game we really focused on setting screens for each other. That’s going to be key for us, and getting our shooters open.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit senior forward Jack Nadelhoffer finishes a lay-up at the rim over a Timberline defender at the end of the second quarter of the Crusaders' victory over the Blazers. Nadelhoffer led Jesuit with 23 points.

Nadelhoffer scored six points during the second quarter run and punctuated the effort with a thunderous two-handed slam off a cross court pass from Bay that put Jesuit up 30-21 at halftime. The senior forward scored 13 in the first half and finished with 22 overall as the Crusaders had five assists on their six second quarter field goals.

“When we’re clicking and the floor’s spaced and we’re hitting spots, it’s awesome,” said Bay. “It’s a great feeling. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, just because we know we have a flow going and you want to keep playing.”

“Those things that win games we do really well because of Coach Potter, and the way he coaches us,” said junior point guard Reid Bucy.

While Jesuit moved the ball and had five guys touch the rock on a given possession, Dorsey played hero ball, chucking up contested pull-up jumpers from 25 feet away while his Blazer teammates stood around and watched the University of Washington commit’s bricks bounce off the tin.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit shooting guard Dan Nelson sizes up a jumper over Timberline's Donaven Dorsey in the second quarter of the Crusaders' first round win over the Blazers in at the Les Schwab Invitational.

“We knew Dorsey is a great player, and if we wanted to win this game, we had to shut him down,” said Bucy. “I thought we did a really good job. He made some really tough shots, especially in the first half. But, we knew we had to fly around, play hard and hustle.”

Dorsey was held to just four points in the second half, thanks to a Jesuit defense that sent double teams his way and hounded the future Husky into hurried looks with a mix of spry defenders like Bay, Nadelhoffer,and Jordan Blue.

“We tried to get in his face and make him hit tough shots,” said senior power forward Henry Mondeaux of Dorsey. “He hit a few, but if you limit a guy to tough shots like that, it’s going to be hard for him to score. We did a really good job of keeping the ball out of his hands as much as we could.”

Playing hard on both ends, and running the floor persistently ate away at Timberline’s effort level as the Crusaders pulled away in the fourth.

Bay flipped an over-the-shoulder pass to a slip cutting Bucy for two to go up 45-36. Later, the point guard broke the Blazers’ press by himself and nudged a pass to Nadelhoffer for another flush on the other end.

Bay’s three-point play and Bucy’s two free throws expanded the lead to 52-38.

“We really try and make the extra pass and find the open man,” said Mondeaux.

“We don’t take a shot when it’s not open. We try to get the best looks we can. We try to build off when other guys are doing well, not just yourself. I think that helps our chemistry a lot.”

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