If someone told Steven Reitz that there was no forecast for rain Wednesday night, the long-range sharpshooter ignored them.
The junior guard brought down the house from behind the arc, raining seven 3-pointers and scoring 27 points, as he led the third-seeded Jim Elliot Christian boys basketball team to an impressive 85-69 victory over No. 14 Ripon Christian in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs at Lodi High School.
"He was on fire," Elliot coach Larry Kimble said. "When he's in that type of zone, we run plays to get him the ball and he's hard to stop."
|Jon Davis of the Elliot Eagles launches a 3-pointer
during Elliot's 85-69 win Wednesday over the Ripon Knights in first
round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 5 boys basketball
playoffs at Lodi High School. (J. Paul
The Eagles came out hot and remained on fire throughout the game. Reitz ran off 12 points in the first quarter on four 3s and the Eagles jumped out to a 27-18 lead. Joel Cashatt sank eight points in the first period on two 3s and a jumper.
"I just kept the ball above my neck when I shot," Reitz said. "It worked real well."
The Eagles had four players in double figures. Cashatt finished with 18 points and Justin Quarisa added 12. Jon Davis played his typical all-around game, netting 16 points, grabbing 16 boards and adding seven steals.
"We're a defensive team," Kimble said. "But what's happened in our past couple of games is our offense is catching up with our defense."
Elliot only played six players for the majority of the game, while running a full-court press. Reitz attributed the success to his team's conditioning.
"We play full-court defense," Reitz said. "We tire the other team out because we work hard in practice and don't wear out."
Ripon's Patrick O'Neill hit a jumper to cut the Eagle lead to nine (29-20) early in the second, but Davis answered for Elliot with four straight points. The Eagles only allowed the Knights to get within 11 the remainder of the quarter.
Elliot led 47-32 at halftime, but Ripon opened up the second half on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to nine (47-38), but Davis hit a field goal to silence the run.
Ripon continued to chip away at Elliot's lead, with a jumper by O'Neill cutting the lead to five (56-51) late in third period.
Elliot finished the quarter on a 9-2 run behind two treys from Reitz and one from Cashatt to give the Eagles a 65-53 lead.
Ripon only got within 11 in the final quarter, and couldn't sustain a run to put a dent in the Eagle lead.
Ripon center Jason De Boer led the Knights with a double-double (21 points and 10 rebounds), O'Neill sank 19 points and Adam Nieweg scored 15.
Elliot plays at home on Friday at 7 p.m. against No. 6 Valley Christian, which beat No. 11 Sacramento Country Day 57-55.
"The next game will probably be a relief," Kimble said. "They're not a big team. We won't change our game plan. We play in your face defense and we'll bring it Friday night."
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