Crusader varsity basketball loses to Pearland

By Liam Smith ’20

On Tuesday, January 14, the Strake Jesuit varsity basketball team lost to Pearland, 57-31.

Mistakes plagued the Crusaders. To start, two of their shots that were blocked and three of their turnovers fed into an 11-0 run by the Oilers. Head Coach Dominic Amorosa called a timeout to regroup his team. “[We] don’t even have a shot off,” he said, looking into everyone’s eyes. “Is this really how it’s going to be tonight?” 

Stern words gave life to the team. Luke Thornburn, the senior Crusader point guard, led a 10-2 run against Pearland to close the first quarter. 

That little stint didn’t last once Pearland regrouped next quarter. The Oilers had twenty solid points while Jesuit mustered only four. The Crusaders had six turnovers and seven missed shots in their final 15 possessions, within respectable range of the Oilers. At the half, down by 21 points, the situation was dire. 

“We’re not guarding anyone. If you miss a shot, you gotta hurry back to the other side [of the court]. That’s the only way we’ll stop the bleeding,” said Coach Amorosa in a timeout before half. Martin Fernandez, the team’s vocal leader at small forward, chimed in, “Guys, we’re messing up the things we know how to do. This is practice stuff.”

Early in the second half, Strake Jesuit fought back with a quick bucket and three forced turnovers. Martin Fernandez ’20 shouted calls and cheers of encouragement down the court, so much that the bench began feeding off his energy. 

Pearland responded with six points in less than thirty seconds. A timeout by Jesuit could not slow this 16-4 run into the fourth quarter. If Pearland was not scoring off steals, they were rebounding an abundance of missed shots. The score became 49-18.

The fourth quarter had Pearland playing their backups while the Crusaders attempted to clean up a 31 point deficit but climbed only five points out of their hold. Jesuit played their sophomores and juniors near the end, though. 

However, in their next home game on Friday, January 17, the Crusaders beat Brazoswood 70-32 in a ‘Silent Night’ game, in which the home crowd waited until their team scored ten points before exploding in a dionysian roar of cheering.