Home / News / Jayden Wright and Benet stop Oswego East

Jayden Wright and Benet stop Oswego East

Benet sophomore guard Jayden Wright knew he had a tough task on Friday night.

It was seven seconds away from the Class 4A Oswego East Regional final and the Redwings were trying to cling to a three-point lead over the host Wolves.

guy from wyoming Jehvion Starwood He picked up the ball and drove it towards Wright. What was going through Wright’s mind?

“A lot,” Wright said. “Jehvion is a great player. We were very focused on it. “We knew we had to keep him under pressure if we had any chance of winning.”

It was easier said than done, but Wright had outscored Starwood for most of the game, so he remained calm, knowing the Wolves needed a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime.

Wright had a strategy.

“I had experience fouling players who took threes late in the game, so I just tried to make it as difficult as possible against him and not foul him,” Wright said. “If he throws hard, just shake his hand.”

But Starwood couldn’t make a tough shot. The senior guard didn’t even get one. Wright forced him to release the ball, but it was deflected and into the hands of senior guard Benet. patrick walsh The fourth-seeded Redwings were awarded a 57-54 victory as time expired.

Benet’s Jayden Wright (3) carries the ball down the field in front of Oswego East’s Noah Mason (10) during the Class 4A Oswego East Regional final on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024 in Oswego. (Jon Cunningham/Naperville Sun)

Benet (27-6) will face top-seeded Bolingbrook (26-4) in the East Aurora Regional semifinals on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Fifth-seeded Oswego East (21-11) had to wonder what might have been.

“Man, that No. 3 (Wright) is really good, isn’t he?” Oswego East coach Ryan Velasquez said. “And for a sophomore.

“Thank you Benet. Their pressure affected us. We prepared something but we couldn’t reach our place. This is so hard.”

Wright was tough as nails, and not just on defense. He scored a game-high 21 points with four rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Wright scored 13 consecutive points in the first quarter and then fed the sophomore guard. Gabriel Sularski A buzzer beater to give Benet a 15-6 lead. Wright finished the first half with 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting and made four 3-pointers, including two from NBA range.

“We knew we needed to take more care of him,” Velasquez said. “We didn’t do that at first. We did a much better job in the second half.”

Indeed, Wright attempted just three shots after halftime, but the 6-foot-10 junior forward Daniel Pauliukonis He filled the gap by making a trio of three-pointers and Benet increased the difference to 47-34.

Benet's Daniel Pauliukonis shoots as Oswego East's Noah Mason defends during the Class 4A Oswego East Regional final game in Oswego on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024.(Jon Cunningham for the Naperville Sun)
Benet’s Daniel Pauliukonis (left) shoots against Oswego East’s Noah Mason during the Class 4A Oswego East Regional final on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Oswego. (Jon Cunningham/Naperville Sun)

Pauliukonis made 4 of 5 shots from beyond the arc and finished the game with 12 points.

“I’ve always been like a shooter and my coach encourages me,” he said. “He gave me the green light to shoot, so I played my game, shot and they went in.”

Starwood, which was in early foul trouble, did not make a shot in the first half. But he scored all nine of his points at halftime to rally the Wolves, who got 14 points from the senior guard. Noah Mason13 points from senior forward Andrew Wiggins and 12 points from the sophomore guard. Mason Lockett.

Wiggins’ three-point play gave Oswego East a 55-54 lead with 25.2 seconds left. But Wright hit two free throws with 22.4 seconds left and then made the decisive stop.

“It wasn’t just me in that game,” Wright said. “We filled our gaps and helped the defense. It was a great team effort.”

Benet coach Gene Heidkamp acknowledged the Redwings won with a sheer team effort. But Wright’s intelligence clinched it.

“On the final possession Jayden was very patient defensively, his teammates were in the right positions and everything went well in the end,” Heidkamp said. “This was Jayden’s best play of the game.

“People will look at his shooting and his points. His defense against Starwood gave us a chance.”

Oswego East's Noah Mason looks at the basket as the Benet defense approaches during the Class 4A Oswego East Regional final game in Oswego on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024.(Jon Cunningham for Naperville Sun)
Oswego East center Noah Mason looks at the basket as Benet approaches during the Class 4A Oswego East Regional final on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Oswego. (Jon Cunningham/Naperville Sun)

That’s what Wright actually did when he hit a 17-foot drop shot at the end of the first half instead of making Starwood’s buzzer-beating shot. He fell on his back as Benet took a 29-24 lead.

“I really don’t know how I did it,” Wright said. “I was just trying to take what the defense gave me. I’m very thankful to my teammates for finding me and opening the way for me, and I managed to take them down.”

He did it in front of a packed gym in a match worthy of a regional final.

“That’s why I play,” Wright said. “There is a great atmosphere and I had a lot of fun competing against them and the hostile environment.”

Matt Le Cren is a freelance reporter.

About yönetici

Check Also

Meet the 2023-24 Aurora-Elgin men’s basketball all-District team

Players from Waubonsie Valley, West Aurora, Oswego East and Class 1A state finalist Aurora Christian …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Watch Dragon ball super