By Michael Finnegan / Special Contributor
Behind a barrage of 3-pointers from Pete Davis and Stefon Jauregui, Highland Park beat Jesuit 83-76 on Tuesday at Walsh Gym.
Davis and Jauregui combined for 60 points, sinking 13 three-pointers combined to lead the Scots to the nondistrict win. The two teams collectively made 25 three-point shots.
Jesuit (2-1) lead for most of the first half, but behind the hot shooting from the Scots backcourt, HP (3-3) went on a 12-0 run at the end of the third quarter to tie the score at 62-62.
“We’ve worked on getting them open,” said HP head coach David Piehler. “The atmosphere was amazing here and we responded really well.”
Davis opened the game with two quick 3-pointers to give the Scots a 6-0 lead, but Jesuit went ahead 12-11 after Michael Jankovich hit a long 3-pointer with 2:40 remaining in the first quarter.
Marcus Hill, who led Jesuit with 31 points, made another 3-pointer as he was fouled and converted a four-point play to give the Rangers a 16-11 lead.
“He’s a tornado,” said Jesuit head coach Chris Hill. “He’s a wonderful talent, and as a shooter, has no conscience.”
Hill’s 3-pointer put Jesuit on top 40-30 just before halftime, and Dixon Smith’s layup and free throw extended the Ranger lead to 52-42 midway through the third quarter.
Jesuit’s Rusty Landon hit a six-foot bank shot to give Jesuit its largest lead at 62-50 with four minutes left in the third quarter, but Davis made two 3-pointers and Jake Taylor scored from inside the lane to tie the score heading into the final period.
“We were successful from behind the three-point line,” said Piehler. “But I was really proud of our defense tonight. We made several adjustments defensively coming off the tournament we just played in, and we responded well.”
Jauregui, who led all scorers with 34 points, opened the fourth quarter with a baseline 3-pointer to give HP its first lead since early in the game at 65-62.
If that didn’t give the Scots the momentum, a thunderous dunk by Ben Reichert on a no-look pass from Davis certainly did, putting HP ahead 67-64 with five minutes remaining in the game.
“You can’t let two players beat you, and that’s what happened,” said Hill, referring to Davis and Jauregui. “We have much to learn, but it’s still very early in the season.”
Hill was fouled driving into the lane and made both free throws to bring the Rangers within a point at 67-66, but after Jauregui’s 12-footer and another 3-pointer by Davis, HP extended the lead to 72-66.
Jesuit was forced to foul after that, and the Scots made crucial free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
“There was so much anticipation heading into this game,” Davis said. “It was a crazy atmosphere and luckily we were able to hit our free throws at the end of the game.”
Davis made eight 3-pointers and finished with 26 points while backcourt mate Jauregui converted 13 of 15 free throws and four 3-pointers.