By Michael Ledecky ’12, Editor-in-Chief.
Coming off one of the greatest clutch performances in its program’s history, Gonzaga now sits #6 in ESPN’s Powerade FAB 50 National Rankings.
Junior forward Kris Jenkins’s last-second three lifted the Eagles past Baltimore’s Patterson Clippers on Monday night in a televised game at Coolidge High School, 75-73.
5-foot-7 star Aquille “Crimestopper” Carr scored 36 and had led Patterson to a 17-point lead by the first half. But the Eagles, who had to play without junior guard Nate Britt, proved resilient. Gonzaga’s staunch defense held Patterson’s run-and-gun offense to 31 points in the second half. Jenkins, who led the Eagles with 26 points, was backed up with much-needed secondary scoring from senior forward Will Rassman (18 points) and junior guard Tavon Blackmon (13 points).
With 24 seconds left, the Eagles trailed Patterson by a point. Gonzaga junior Charles Glover lofted a long two-point jumper that bounced off the rim as time expired. But Rassman won the battle for the ball, sending a blind tip to an open Jenkins beyond the arc.
Backed by wins against Riverside, St. Mary’s Ryken and Patterson, the 15-0 Eagles rose from #9 to #6 in the high school national rankings. Only two other undefeated teams rank ahead of Gonzaga. Heading into Saturday’s match-up, the Eagles now sit above the DeMatha Stags, who fell from #5 to #22 after a loss to #24 Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas at the Hoophall Classic.
Britt, who sustained a calf injury against Riverside, should be back in action against DeMatha Saturday.**
With his clutch shot and 90 points over three games, Kris Jenkins was named the East Region high school basketball Player of the Week by ESPN.
**Correction, Jan. 21: Nate Britt has not dressed for the DeMatha game.