Jericho wants to bring the old school to the new school, and so far, it’s working.
“We’re teaching old school basketball in the new generation,” Jericho boys coach Wally Bachman said. “We move fast with the basketball and look to score quick, but everything is dictated by defense.”
Jordan Miller puts it all together. The point guard is "the heart and soul of the team,” captaining the Jayhawks' disciplined half-court defense and making sure the ball is in the right hands at the right time.
During crunch time Monday, that meant getting the ball to Brandon Weiss.
Weiss scored 12 of his 31 points and went 7-for-8 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter as host Jericho (12-1) defeated Manhasset, 71-67, in non-league action. Yaewon You had 19 points and Steven Gerschwer added 10.
After Miller (7 points) hit a three-pointer to put Jericho up by 8 midway through the fourth quarter, Manhasset scored four straight to make it 59-55. Weiss emerged with the ball after a scrum at half court on the next possession, finishing a lefty layup with the foul for a three-point play and a 62-55 lead with 2:09 left. Miller stole the ball seconds later and the Jayhawks went 10-for-12 from the line in the final minutes to seal it.
“[Miller] is one of the best athletes I have ever seen in soccer and basketball,” Weiss said. “The kid just doesn’t stop running. He's like an animal.”
You had the hot hand, scoring 16 of his 19 points in the first half. He had 12 straight points during a 12-5 run in the second quarter. You’s step-back three-pointer from the top of the key to end the half gave Jericho a 36-27 lead.
“We have fantastic scorers and so many options,” Miller said. “We just make sure to treat every possession like it’s a game-changing possession because it really is.”
Weiss gave Jericho its largest lead with back-to-back threes to make it 49-29 midway through the third quarter. After Manhasset coach George Bruns called a time out, and the Indians responded with a 13-2 run to end the quarter. Connor Dunphy (20 points) found Ahmad Crowell (19 points) inside in the final seconds to make it 51-42.
“They switched up the defense and slowed us down after our big run, but we never lost the lead and we kept composure,” Weiss said. “We stayed within each other and didn’t lose control.”