HILLSBORO — Fool me twice, shame on me.
Jesuit wasn’t about to get shamed a second time when the Crusaders tipped it off against Lake Oswego in the fifth-place game of the Les Schwab Invitational at Liberty High School Saturday evening.
And they didn’t. The fifth-ranked Crusaders did most of the things they didn’t do in their loss to the Lakers back on Dec. 11, winning 63-57.
This time Jesuit jumped out to an early lead and took ownership of its own fate. This time the Crusaders fended off the Lakers’ counter-punches. This time they kept track of the Lakers’ most dangerous scorers.
But revenge for the 53-51 loss in the first meeting -- at Jesuit, no less -- had nothing to do with it.
“We just wanted to get better this time,” Crusader coach Gene Potter said. “We said let’s just go in there and play the best we can, from the tipoff in the first quarter to the buzzer at the end of the fourth.
“We made some significant improvements tonight. We shared the ball better, for one.”
Potter has been running a new offense this year. The Crusaders, an athletic but not terribly big team, are running more of a motion offense; the players are still getting used to it.
“This is a lot different style,” Potter said. “We’re more spread out, a little less screen and a little more cutting. We’re trying to do more stuff off the bounce.”
Whatever the intent of the change, the result of the new offense is that it allows senior forward Justin Bieker to cruise inside the three-point line and find his little left-handed and right-handed baby hooks and 15-foot jumpers.
The system freed him up for 28 points on 10 of 16 shooting and drives that got him to the free throw line 13 times.
The whole thing worked against the Lakers right off the bat. Aiden Williams dropped a three-pointer 16 seconds into the game — a significant event, as it turns out — and the Crusaders were out of the blocks. Less than halfway through the first quarter they were up 13-3, then 16-6. They ended the period with a solid seven-point lead.
A 10-point Jesuit run put the Crusaders up 29-15, and the Lakers spent the rest of the game trying to create a but enough hole in the Jesuit defense to make it all the way back.
They do have the weapons in senior wing Josh Angle and point guard Wayne McKinney III, and threw promising little runs at Jesuit all night long.
But Jesuit was up to it. Like this:
— The Lakers made a seven-point burst cut the 14-point lead in half, but Jesuit straight-armed them with three points and lock-down defense to reach the break up 10.
— Lake Oswego got the first seven points of the third quarter and looked as if it was back in the game down just 32-29, but Will Sheaffer went coast-to-coast for an old-fashioned three-point play and Bieker dropped off of his pet bunnies from the key to run the lead back out to eight.
— The Lakers went on a 9-2 run early in the fourth quarter to get within 49-44, but Sheaffer hit a pair of free throws and Matthew Levis banked one in from 10 feet away to extend Jesuit back out to a 53-44 cushion.
Lake Oswego’s last gasp came when McKinney drove the key for a layup that cut Jesuit’s lead to 56-52 with 2:23 left, but Jesuit defense kept the Lakers off the scoreboard for nearly the next two minutes and it was over. The Crusaders could afford to hit just five of their last 14 free throws in the final 2:41 and still win comfortably.
What was different this time? Bieker shrugged it off.
“We’ve just been practicing execution,” he said. “We know what we did wrong. We had defensive lapses the last time and we fouled some guys we shouldn’t have fouled.”
Williams hit four of nine three-pointers and finished with 14 points. He likes the new offensive thrust.
“There are a lot of options off it,” he said. “Passing, shooting, the sickouts, moving the ball.”
Added Bieker, “Moving the ball. When we’re moving the ball, that’s when we’re at our best.”
The Crusaders hit 22 of 49 field goals for a so-so 44.9 percent, but that was a far sight better than the affliction the Lakers suffered. They hit just 20 of 59 shots for 33.9 percent.
McKinney led the Lakers with 14 points. Dangerous Josh Angle got 14 shots off, but only five of them went in and he finished with 12 points. His 15 rebounds were tops for either team.
Casey Graver also had 12 for the Lakers.
Notes: Sierra Canyon (Calif.) defeated University (Fla.) 68-52 for the tournament title, getting 26 points from Scotty Pippen Jr. and 21 points from Cassius Stanley. ... Jefferson fell to Gonzaga Prep (Wash.) 68-59 in the third-place game despite 19 points and 14 rebounds from Marcus Tsohonis. ... Grant's Aaron Deloney poured in 47 points in an 86-74 loss to Skyview (Wash.) in the consolation final. He went 15 of 26 from the field, including 3 of 9 from three-point range, and made 14 of 17 free throws. ... Columbia Christian, ranked No. 1 in 2A, rallied from an 18-point, third-quarter deficit for an 80-78 overtime win over Barlow, ranked second in 6A. Knights sophomore Ben Gregg had 30 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks. ... Jaden Nielsen-Skinner had 22 points and Trey Galbraith had 19 points and eight assists in South Salem's 73-58 win over Southridge, which got 30 points from Brock Henry. ... Stevie Schlabach and Drew Carter scored 26 points apiece for Tigard in its 78-60 win over Churchill. ... Central Catholic outlasted West Linn 60-59 as Darius Gakwasi scored 19 points and Isaiah Amato had 18 points and eight rebounds.