There were times Friday night where the crowd's cheers inside the gym at Jesuit prevented Devin Harris from hearing his own thoughts, but the Tigers senior said he was fine with that — even adding to it with a pair of crowd-pleasing, rim-ringing dunks — as his team topped rival Tampa Catholic 72-61.
"I couldn't hear myself think in here, it was ridiculous," Harris said. "This is my last one of these as a senior and it was so loud — I loved every minute of it."
For Harris, who finished with 17 points, the night's success stemmed from the defense Jesuit (13-1) played and its ability to keep Crusaders scoring leader Chivarsky Corbett in check.
"We played good team defense that led to our transition offense," Harris said. "We knew as a team we had to not let (Corbett) out of our sight and we did a few times and he made us pay.
"But we got back to doing what we have done all season. Defense leads to offense, and that is what has made the difference for us this year, that every person steps up to do what we need them to do."
Corbett had 26 points, but the Tigers limited the senior to a pair of baskets in the middle two quarters as Jesuit stretched its halftime lead to 14 and pushed it to 18 in the third before keeping pace with a solid second half from Tampa Catholic (10-4).
"We knew we had to make (Corbett) as uncomfortable as possible, but a player like that is going to get his points," Jesuit coach Neal Goldman said. "I knew our defense needed to get going and they did that as we stretched out our lead."
Jesuit's defense was keyed by seniors Travis Johnson, who had 10 points and 14 rebounds, and Joey Galvis (11 points, six steals), while the offense was paced by a big final quarter from senior Jack Fleming, who finished with 22 points.