Celebrating senior night, John Carroll rolled over visiting Gerstell Academy, 68-49, on Friday night in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association basketball action.
John Carroll features four seniors and two of them that led the Patriots (3-5) to the big win.
Senior Jaiden Jakubowski did the damage early. His two, 3-point baskets were key in the Patriots jumping to a 9-2 lead just three minutes in.
Gerstell, behind two, 3s from junior Jamari Glover, closed the gap to 13-10, but the Patriots outscored the Falcons, 7-3, to lead, 20-13, after one quarter.
The Patriots, though, used another 9-2 run to open the second quarter and it eventually grew to a 16-2 run, which was the difference. Jakubowski, who led all scorers with 22 points, scored seven in the second quarter which led to a 41-21 Patriots lead at the half.
“I haven’t been shooting the ball, too, well, but my teammates puled me aside and said they got confidence in me. They believe in me, so the next step was for me to believe in myself,” Jakubowski said. “I was just having fun, I was trying not to think, just play, and the shots were falling, so it was a good night.”
The 20-point halftime lead didn’t completely slip away, but Gerstell made a decent run throughout the third quarter and into the fourth.
The Falcons (3-5) outscored the Patriots, 16-6, in the third quarter to cut the 20-point deficit in half.
Then, early in the fourth quarter, Glover made back-to-back 3s and the Falcons were within 51-43, with 6:22 to play and John Carroll needed a timeout.
“Our game plan was to get out in transition and push them to get stops, but we had to turn them into open shots,” Glover said. “So we just drove and kicked over to the open shooter and I was just able to be open and knock ‘em down whenever my teammates found me.”
Out of the timeout, John Carroll scored eight unanswered points and the lead was back up to 16 with 4:00 to play.
Senior Jalen Bryant fueled the Patriots late-game run. Bryant scored nine of his 17 points in the quarter that led John Carroll to a game-closing 17-6 run and a win for the seniors.
“It’s huge, all of us been together since sophomores and it’s now the reality that we’re seeing that we don’t have that much time left together,” Bryant said. “So, every moment that we spend together, we’ve got to make it worth it.”
Cesar Tchilombo chipped in 10 points for the Patriots.
“For us, we’ve really dialed ourselves in on focusing to getting better every day right now, that’s been our ultimate focus,” Patriots coach Seth Goldberg said. “It starts with our energy level and to start the game, being senior night, it was phenomenal to see our seniors go out there and just play with a ton of energy.”
Gerstell had just three players score, but all reached double figures. Glover led with 21 points, while senior Jeremiah Stanton scored 18. Senior Dayyan Noble scored 10.
“I was really proud of that effort in the third quarter,” Gerstell head coach Ben Thompson said. “I was proud of the effort to get back into it. I was really proud of the fact that we fought, we could have folded.”