Boys Basketball: St. Ignatius back to the drawing board after blowout loss to Jesuit

St. Ignatius junior forward Noah Bull (left) jockeys for rebounding position with Jesuit junior forward Isiah King on Thursday at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Eric Luis)

By Bonta Hill

In the first two rounds of the Leo LaRocca Sand Dune Classic, the St. Ignatius boys basketball team rode second-quarter runs to dispose of its opposition.

Once again, the second quarter proved to be the difference in the tournament championship game, but the Wildcats were the team facing a double-digit deficit at halftime.

St. Ignatius committed 15 turnovers and gave up 12 offensive rebounds that led to several second-chance points for Jesuit, and the Wildcats were routed 68-49 at home on Thursday.

St. Ignatius senior guard Nick Johnson tries to drive past a Jesuit defender on Thursday at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Eric Luis)

The Marauders (11-2), who endured a rough visit to the City a week ago in a loss to Sacred Heart Cathedral, blew the game open in the second quarter, outscoring St. Ignatius 20-8 in the frame en route to a 35-18 halftime lead.

Jesuit got huge games from Bryce Pressley and Parker Uu, with Pressley finishing with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Uu, who was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, added 19 points and five rebounds.

After coasting through their first two games of the tournament, the Wildcats (6-4) were completely thrown off by Jesuit’s half-court defense.

“Our guys came ready to play and our defense tonight, which is our bread and butter, was suffocating,” said Jesuit head coach Greg Harcos. “The effort was excellent tonight. We played together and when we play defense like that, we can play with anybody.”

Jesuit opened the second quarter on a 12-3 run and later in the quarter, they used a 9-0 run to go up 31-13.

“It was hard for us to run at all, because we were getting out-rebounded,” said St. Ignatius head coach Tim Reardon. “They either made a basket or they got a second shot. If we rebound like this against a team like Serra or Sacred Heart, we’re going to be in a lot of trouble.”

After the break, St. Ignatius had more fluidity on offense and shot 8-for-12 from the field in the third quarter.

The Wildcats cut the Jesuit lead to 43-32 with 3:56 left in the period, but after a Marauders’ timeout, Jesuit point guard Akachi Okugo sank a 3-pointer, halting the St. Ignatius momentum. St. Ignatius did not get within 12 points the rest of the game.

“At halftime, I told our team to spread it out, make four or five passes, and make them run around a little bit and try to get some easy baskets.” Reardon said. “In the fourth quarter, I told our team to go for it. We were either going to go for it and see if we can win, or get blown out, and the latter happened.”

With West Catholic Athletic League play set to start next week, the Wildcats were looking to enter with a head of steam behind a tournament championship. Instead, they’ll try to sure up their rebounding and get back to the basics.

“It’s back to the drawing board for us,” Reardon said. “[Jesuit] is a WCAL-caliber type of team and now we know what we need to work on.”

Scoring Leaders

Bryce Pressley — 24
Parker Uu — 19
Akachi Okugo — 12
Brian Glodowski — 7
Joey Thomas — 3

St. Ignatius
Stephen Domingo — 15
Nick Johnson — 12
Trevor Dunbar — 7
Noah Bull — 4
Two players tied with 3 points

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  1. GCJ01 says:

    SHC beats Jesuit by 16, then Jesuit turns around and beats SI by 19. Interesting. Had SI not committed so many turnovers they probably would’ve won. They’re still a great team though and will do well in league.

    • City Lights says:

      “Had they not made so many turnovers they would have won” (GCJ01)

      Whaaat?! The other team is usually the reason for these turnovers. SHC is in-your-face full court. They will smash SI. Jesuit smashed SI. EL CAMINO (somewhat) smashed SI. They best get their defense & rebounding in order. Domingo is like 6’8″ and at the games I’ve seen he gets like 2 rebounds, 1 put-back, and zero post-ups a game.

      C’MON MAAAN!

      Even tall guards who end up D1 are able to bang a little in high school and dominate close to the rim at times when their teams need it. He’s fast enough to leave a lot of bigs in the dust, slim enough to get knocked around doing it, and could possibly put some of them in foul trouble in the process. The kid is good but he needs to man up above the rim.

      Also, I was impressed with #10 for SI at the Sand Dune. Very unselfish point guard. He’s a sophomore? (clap, clap, clapclapclap) SI should be reeal nice next year. Could still be nice this year.

      Jesuit looked really good. Makes it that much more impressive that SHC dominated them. Oakland Tech looked pretty good too. I expected a little more from Mission. Riordan looks much better this season as well. Should be a great year for hoops in the City.

      • Ari Gold says:

        Come on Jeremy, you let @City’s comment/criticism go through on Domingo and not mine? It wasnt profane or offensive… if anything Im doing you a favor by lighting a match under Domingo’s butt to get him started for WCAL season since we all know you love SI.

      • GCJ01 says:

        @City Lights: Turnovers MAY BE caused by the other team, however, sloppy play (such as bad passes or mental errors) can lead to turnovers as well. I wasn’t at the game, so I can’t say for sure if Jesuit’s defense was the cause or was it SI’s error that lead to the turnovers. No matter how the turnovers were committed, the fact is, had they committed less of them, they probably could’ve won. Just because SHC blew out Jesuit doesn’t mean that they will do the same against SI. SHC was just the better team on THAT DAY. I wouldn’t underestimate SI. Yes, SHC does have the better record of the two for right now, but we’ll see what happens during league.

  2. IC Stars says:

    See you in January.

  3. JJ says:

    Antonio Aguilar did not step up. That’s why Jesuit’s front court had A monster game. SHC has great rebounders and excellent interior defense, that’s why they beat Jesuit by 20, while SI has mediocre rebounders and average interior defense, that’s why they lose by 20. But overall, it was just a bad display by the Cats. They looked tired, after playing 3 games in 3 days. I see a 3rd or 4th place finish in the WCAL, but leaning more towards 4th (as of now). If Riordan jumps out to an early lead in the WCAL opener vs the Cats, they can win that game, because SI struggles playing from behind.

  4. WCAL Alum says:

    Riordan considerably smaller than Jesuit, so SI may be able to compete on offensive boards, though Riordan does have tougher kids in paint. Again the key in defensing SI is guards manning up with perimeter shooters. Do Crusaders have a guard that can man up (height-wise) with Domingo (like the Jesuit guard)? Slight edge to Cats. Will be a mano v. mano match.

    • COncerned Citizen says:

      Riordan should move up Rod Hidalgo for the regular season opener against SI. He’s wide, tough and definitely a beast in the paint. He would give SI’s bigs a lot of problems. He can also handle the ball well.

      • ARHS Stats says:

        Dream on.

        If Rod Hildalgo deserved to be on Varsity, he should be dominating on Junior Varsity. He should be averaging 15 points per game, along with a few assists and few rebounds per game and playing defense on the opponent’s best player every game.

        Hildalgo is not even the Junior Varsity’s leading scorer this season.

        • COncerned Citizen says:

          COME ON STATS! Quit making disparaging remarks about Hot Rod Hidalgo. He just needs an opportunity to show what he has. He is being held back in the JV system. He WILL shut down Domingo or Dunbar if they give him a chance. REAL TALK!

          • ARHS Stats says:

            You need to stop posting about a JV player.

            The same system should be played by all the Riordan basketball teams.

            It does not appear that any of the JV player’s played well this week, since they lost 2 out the 3 games they played. Any player that was a Varsity ready player, would have won the JV’s the first two games they played this week.

            • COncerned Citizen says:

              I can post about whoever I want and I choose Rod Hidalgo. The system needs to be tailored to Hot Rod and Riordan would win more games. You may be the stats man but your stats don’t measure heart, which Rod has in excess.

              And Rod is unshiftable!

          • Anonymous says:

            hahahahah Dunbar will shift him… enough said.

    • wcalsf says:

      riordan guys, though in the 6ft range, are all tough strong players that definitely d it up and hit the boards hard. they remind me of the el camino team that has now beat SI and SF on their home courts. should be a good game.

      • Roll Cats says:

        If you recall, last year, Riordan struggled with Domingo’s size and shooting ability from the perimeter and Aguilar had a solid game at Riordan as well. It’ll be interesting to see if Aguilar’s fully healthy because you could tell he was not the physical presence he normally is last night, and I don’t think that has anything to do with Jesuit because he throws his body at anyone in the post, regardless of their size. Nick Johnson is another key for the Cats because if Riordan can find someone to guard Domingo, they’ll need another stopper on Johnson who has great 3 point range. The Wildcat offense has a lot of potential, but defensive minded teams seem to have fared well against them so far. Will Riordan try to match SI score for score? Or will they slow the tempo and play hard nosed defense?

  5. JJ says:

    I think the 4 days rest will help SI. They looked tired against Jesuit. They played great defense againt Santa Cruz and I think they used up all their energy in that game and ran out of gas vs Jesuit. I think SI will beat Riordan, but Riordan can win this game, if they jump out to an early lead, because SI will start panicking and then start chucking up wild 3’s. SI had a tougher schedule so far, and this should help them in a hostile environment.

  6. hs says:

    Jesuit ran a beautiful fast break offense and controlled the pace of the game. SI has the athletes to run a similiar structured fast break and could play at the same tempo if they did the same. SI has been getting out rebounded all year and Jesuit was not that big. All the WCAL teams are bigger than SI so things are going to need to change for them to win. Antonio was shut down because the Jesuit players were fronting him at the post. SI has talent and given the right style of play can do well this year.

  7. Johnny Drama says:

    Having attended both Jesuit games, SHC is clearly the better team. While I am a big SI homer, we simply could not compete with Jesuit in any facet of the game. I do not believe SI ran out of gas, we just got smacked in the mouth and outplayed. We had no inside presence at all. I know AA is coming off of injury but even healthy he wouldn’t have made much of a difference. Domingo started out very well, making some putbacks and even driving on UU to make a layup. He was getting several rebounds early but then reverted to his jumpshot that wasn’t falling. UU is a stud and Pressley is a solid player as well. Jesuit’s PG was also very good, they are just a solid team. The difference was SHC’s had the bigs to control the paint. SHC also played very aggressive defense. SHC SHOULD win but as in years past, they don’t always win when they should.

    • Bonta Hill says:

      Agree with you Mr. Drama…Last nights game had nothing to do with S.I. running out of gas.The Wildcats had just blown out Branson and Santa Cruz, resting their starters for the fourth quarter in both contests. Uu and Pressley lived in the paint and Uu made it tough on Domingo, contesting his three-pointers. Talking to Coach Reardon afterwards, he wished he’s started off running his spread offense, the attack they came with after halftime. S.I. was very effiecient in that third quarter, but Jesuit just had answers all game. Whether it was a shot made before the shot-clock buzzer or getting fouled after an offensive rebound, it was Jesuit’s night. You also can’t turn the ball over like S.I. did. They were careless in the first half, at least four turnovers just trying to pass the ball into the post.

      With all that said, who knows how the Bruce will go. The Riordan game will be a dogfight for S.I. Can’t wait for both…

      • AFitzsimon says:

        Stemming off of what Bonta said, SI fans need to be wary of the rebounding woes heading into the WCAL. The Riordan SI game will indeed be a dogfight, as far as the Bruce goes obviously heading into it Sacred Hear is the favorite but look at their record and who they’ve beaten. I’ve seen SI play four games now, they are a good high school team but it takes a top tier team to even be in the top 3 of the WCAL and frankly they are not there yet.

    • City Lights says:

      Agreed with pretty much all of that. If Domingo can get inside a little more it would help. The other big for SI needs to step up too. Their team is pretty tall but they seem to lack some grit.

  8. JJ says:

    Well, whoever was guarding Bryce Pressley from Jesuit didn’t do his job, because he had 12 rebounds and it seemed like 10 of those were offensive rebounds which led to about 8 layups.

  9. bball fanatic says:

    SI’s bigs needs to play BIG!!! bottom line!! if they do that then they can def put up more points.

  10. DJ WHIZ says:

    SHC Won the Cactus Jam and Fox got the Tourney MVP , as we all know they will only work harder and are guaranteed to turn heads . Good Luck to All – GO IRISH ! ! !

  11. Anonymous says:

    In total agreement SHC – Go get em boyz

    • Scott says:

      Congrats to the IRISH for winning the Cactus Jam in Arizona!! Also congrats to the IRISH Freshman “A” team who beat Serra for the Championship at the Riordan Crusader Classic…Great Hustle and Grit by both current and future teams…!!!!

  12. HS says:

    While Domingo needs to get more rebounds, he’s playing the perimeter 3 in their offense and as one of their best shooter, he’s never inside to rebound. It’s SI’s undersized power forwards they play that need to rebound or they’re in for a long season.

    • Scott says:

      Domingo is waaayy overrated for a BIG dude…Ill take Dunbar over him…Dunbar has way more hustle and strength playing bigger than his actual size.

    • City Lights says:

      There’s no reason a 6’7″ player can’t crash the boards on ANY of the other shots by the rest of his entire team. Crashing the boards from three point range with that big ol’ wingspan leads to easy tap-ins, put backs, dunks, or just possession of the damn ball. It’s all about hard work.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Until and unless one plays “BIG” , you can never be classified a big . Get in there and get physical like a big should and mix it up . – Food for thought .

  14. Anonymous says:

    Excuses my dear Watson .

  15. Bball fanatic says:

    I believe Domingo & Mitty’s Gordan play the same position…if Domingo play like Gordan SI will def be a powerhouse!!! SI coach should try and incorporate him playing in the paint to help get them boards!!! Looks like Aguilar is still hurt but I could be wrong maybe they are saving him for Fridays game. Loginoff, Bull are their hustlers. Dunbar was coached by Reardon last year in frosh so he knows what he has…he needs to use his skills to their ability. I think they can go far maybe 2nd or 3rd in WCAL if the bigs step up.

  16. Fan says:

    Hey does anyone know about tickets being sold for the Bruce’s game.

  17. HS says:

    ball fanatic, those hustlers you mention need to rebound. They’re playing the 4 and 5 positions and granted, they’re both undersized, their job is to get rebounds. SI is getting killed inside.

  18. Bball fanatic says:

    @HS You right my bad!! You gotta do more then hustle!! Def getting killed in the inside. No one to put the shots back up. If Domingo plays as a big wid his size and Aguilar is off the injury list then maybe SI can get some boards!! On Tuesday’s game Dunbar got to make things happen, whether it’s create his own shot or dime his team
    Mates ( but the gotta cath the ball n make the shot) haha

  19. Anonymous says:

    SI is weak, for their size, they cant bang the boards.

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