St. John s Jesuit coach Ed Heintschel became the City League s all-time leader in basketball victories last night at Savage Hall as his Titans cruised to a 75-34 win over the Start Spartans.
Part of the reason Heintschel, in his 25th season, has won 430 games is that he pays attention to detail.
That s why, even after his team hit 12 of 16 shots in the opening period en route to a 24-10 lead, Heintschel chose to point out a flaw rather than rave about the Titans execution.
“Actually, I thought our defense was a little soft and gave them some easy shots,” Heintschel said. “But, other than that, we re moving the ball a lot better now. We re getting a lot of unselfish plays and guys looking for their teammates. So, I m real pleased with that, and the defense was better in the second half.”
The veteran coach, who eclipsed the 429 wins compiled by Scott s Ben Williams (1974-1998), also stated his concern about another item fresh on his mind. Throughout the week, his team didn t practice with enough intensity to meet his expectations for this stage of the season.
“I don t think you can continue to practice like that, so this [big win] doesn t get em off the hook,” Heintschel said. “You re going to play like you practice and, eventually, it s going to come back to hurt you.”
On the positive side, St. John s (12-4, 8-1 hit 31 of 54 shots from the field, out-rebounded the Spartans 33-25, and committed just nine turnovers while forcing 16. The Titans also held Start to 15-of-47 shooting, including a 0-for-13 effort from 3-point range.
B.J. Raymond had an especially hot hand in the first quarter, hitting seven of his eight attempts on the way to a 20-point (plus eight rebounds) performance, the byproduct of his team s offensive execution.
“That was the game plan, to move the ball around the key and make the zone move, and then pound it inside,” the 6-6 Raymond said.
“We knew they didn t have an answer inside for me and Zach [Hillesland] with the height advantage. They were shutting Brian [Roberts] down with a little gimmick [defense], but they were letting us execute our game plan.”
The Titans, who led 39-16 at halftime and 58-26 after three quarters, also got 15 points and eight boards from 6-7 forward Hillesland, and 10 points from senior guard Roberts, who received heavy attention on the perimeter from Start s defense.
“They tried to take Brian away,” Heintschel said, “but by doing that they extended things for the inside game. So, we went inside and got stuff that we wanted inside. Even when you don t score, if you re a good player, you can occupy people and create opportunities.”
Start (3-13, 2-7) was paced by 10 points apiece from Robby Long and Matthew Foley.
- STEVE JUNGA