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Mondeaux's free throws keeps upset-minded Beavers at bay


Jesuit power forward hits pair of game-winners to stop upset

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit power forward Henry Mondeaux made two huge free throws with 3.9 seconds left to give the Crusaders a 51-49 win over Beaverton on Wednesday.

Beaverton all but turned the Metro League upside down on Wednesday, baffling the conference's first-place team — the one with enough Metro banners to cover two gyms — with a bewildering defense and faithful outside shooting.

But, by the skin of its teeth and the clutch big bear claws of Henry Mondeaux, league-leading Jesuit staved off what would've been Metro's upset of the year and clenched its one game advantage over Sunset.

As the Beaver student section howled at the 6-foot-5 power forward with 10 seconds left in the fourth and with the game tied 49-49, Mondeaux calmly swished the first attempt to give Jesuit a 50-49 lead. The second effort was a little more touch-and-go, hitting the heel of the rim, rolling to the right a bit before hanging on the edge of the iron and dropping for the 51-49 lead.

Inbounding the ball from fullcourt, Beaverton got the ball to Ty Peacock at the timeline, but Jesuit smothered the senior near the sideline and didn't let the guard get off an attempt. The clock ran out with the ball still in Peacock's hands, giving Jesuit a 51-49 win.

“This is a big win,” said Jesuit junior guard Reid Bucy. “We know any team we play against is going to give us their best. Beaverton's a good team, so we knew that we couldn't come out of here with a loss. We're looking forward to Aloha on Friday, but definitely a big win today.”

“Jesuit's a Moda Center team,” said Peacock. “They're going to be there battling for the state title again. So, if we play like this against other teams, we definitely have a shot. Tonight was a big step forward.”

Testing a Jesuit squad that just stymied Sunset the previous evening, Beaverton looked nothing like a team that's near the bottom of the OSAA's 6A power rankings (31st to be exact) and is 1-6 in Metro — specifically in the second quarter.

Trailing 15-12 at the end one, after having trouble keeping up with Jesuit's guards off the dribble, head coach Jeff Bennett put a 3-2 zone into action that simply mystified the normally cerebrally sound Crusaders. Jesuit couldn't solve this perplexing defense that covered an area of the court, but didn't necessarily stick to one certain player. It was impossible to set screens against because it wasn't a man defense, though on the surface it looked like one. Conventional zone offense didn't work well either, because the high post and short corners were concealed.

“They were kind of confused,” said Peacock. “They didn't know what to do. I was long at the top, so there were a lot of hands in their vision. When you're driving, and all those hands are in your vision, it makes it really difficult. It definitely stifled them in the first half.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton senior guard Martin Tannler scored 10 points for the Beavers against Jesuit on Wednesday.

With the Beaver coaching staff talking its team through the defense from the sidelines, barking out where the shooters were and where the cutters were coming from, Beaverton held Jesuit scoreless for the first 5:40 of the second quarter. Peacock, Sam Parker and Martin Tannler — all 6-foot-2 or taller with even longer wingspans — engulfed the floor with size at the top of the zone while Sam Noyer and Kiuna Talalemotu played like grown men, anchoring the backline with athleticism, effort and toughness. Both blocked shots and battled bloodily with Mondeaux on the glass for boards.

“We didn't prepare for that at all,” said Noyer of the 3-2 zone. “We've had that in our sleeve for a while, but pulled it out this game, and it was working for us. We communicated (in the zone), which is something we haven't done this year. We were talking, and our hands were big the whole time. Everyone was in the right position, so that helped a lot.”

Beaverton went on an 8-0 run during Jesuit's dry spell, finding offensive sources in Tannler, who scored nine points and the sweet-shooting Parker who splashed a trio of threes in the first half. Noyer got two energy buckets off the bench, and Tannler buried a hard-earned three with Dan Nelson draped all over him just before the half to give Beaverton a stunning 28-20 lead.

“We came out hot,” said Noyer. “We were ready for their pressure because we know they're a pressure team. We handled them really well and fought the whole game.”

The Beavers even extended the lead in the third when Parker tipped in an offensive board and Jared Hilbers made two free throws to go up 33-22 with seven minutes to go.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit junior small forward Jack Nadelhoffer weaves across the lane for a lefty scoop against Beaverton.

However, Jesuit and head coach Gene Potter could be outfoxed for only so long.

The Crusaders blasted up the inferno defensively in the third, turning their Metro rival over five straight times, which seemed to ignite the offense on the other end. And, more significantly, Jesuit found the deep corners — the sweet spots in the 3-2 zone — to operate its offense from. They dissolved the defense by setting a screen on the bottom guy of Beaverton's zone, which freed up an aerial display from the right and left corners of the three-point line. First, Nelson nailed an open three from the right corner to cut Beaverton's advantage to 33-28. Bucy cut backdoor for a hoop, then found Collin Landry for an unobstructed triple from the right corner. Mondeaux's tip-in topped an 8-0 run and gave Jesuit a 35-33 lead. Hilbers hit a lay-up after a Peacock pass, but Bucy buried a three from the left wing with 10 seconds to go back up 38-35.

“We knew we needed to move the ball around quick,” said Bucy. “We had to get good shots, and luckily we were able to hit shots in the second half. We saw the corner was an open spot for us to hit some shots. Once we started hitting shots, we stepped up on defense and got some steals.”

Jack Nadelhoffer's dive to the rim after a diagonal pass from Ryan McEvoy and Ryan Bay's two free throws to start the fourth handed Jesuit its biggest lead of the game, 42-35.

“We knew we had to play well here, so we had to come out strong in the second half,” said Bucy. “They hit a lot of shots in the first half, so we needed to come back in the second half, and we did a good job of that.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton senior guard Ty Peacock soars to the hoop for a lay-up during the Beavers 51-49 loss to Jesuit.

Beaverton didn't bow out, though, tying the game on a Peacock pick-and-roll three from the right angle after a 7-0 run to tie it 42-42. The two squads traded buckets and free throws for the next two minutes before Nadelhoffer hit two free throws, and Landry made one of two to go up 49-46 with 47 seconds to go in the fourth.

“Our coach told us Jesuit was going to go on a run because they're a good ball club,” said Peacock. “We were expecting it, but we knew how to come back for it.”

Down three, with less than 30 seconds to go, Parker ran off a down pick from Peacock and sprayed the right wing from behind the three-point line to put the contest in a 49-49 deadlock.

“He came out firing tonight,” said Peacock of Parker. “He was on fire. We always tell him, 'If you miss a close three, take a step back.' He just kept stepping back and hitting.”

It was Parker's fourth triple of the night and easily the most impactful, though the play wasn't exactly what Bennett had in mind when he called it into point guard Conner Brands.

“It was funny, our coach didn't call that play,” said Peacock. “He called a different play, and our point guard called that play. Sam set his guy up for my screen and just nailed it. It was deep.”

With 10 seconds left and the final possession in its grasp, Bucy put up a mid-range jumper that bounced on the back of the iron. Mondeaux — an all-state defensive end and savage blocker for the Jesuit football team — bullrushed into the paint, grabbed the offensive board and was fouled by Beaverton's Parker.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton senior guard Ty Peacock soars to the hoop for a lay-up during the Beavers 51-49 loss to Jesuit.

Mondeaux's free throws, and the following botched last possession sealed the Beavers' fate, though Beaverton walked away confident that its season — with 6A play-in games starting next week — can be extended based on the way it competed against heralded Jesuit.

“It was back-and-forth, back-and-forth,” said Noyer. “That's what basketball is. Sometimes you have big losses, and sometimes it's right there for the taking. Jesuit's a great team. They played hard, and we played hard too. At the end of the day, they played a little bit harder, but we could see them down the road. Knowing we battled with them is big. We're right there.”

“The past two games, we've played our best basketball,” added Peacock. “We're playing way more team ball now. We're picking and choosing how we run our offense, and it seems to be working.”