By Joseph Phillips
After finishing 9-2 in last year’s Independent School League conference, the 4-0 University High Maroons boys basketball team stormed into conference play on Friday night with clear intentions: to dominate conference foes Elgin Academy (0-1, 2-2) in their home opener on John Rogers Court.
“We understood coming into this game the importance of not playing to the level of our competition,” said Maroons senior forward Max Rothschild, who led all scorers with 17 points.
“Despite of that, we wanted to play a full 32 minutes of mistake free, mentally strong basketball,” Rothschild said. “Rather than take this team for granted, Jordan [Moran] and I discussed the importance of putting this team away early on our home floor … and that we do collectively well as a team.”
The first half was the Moran and Rothschild show as both players would take turns scoring on their much smaller defenders from all areas of the floor; that included the right block, the left block, the right elbow, the left elbow, the top of the key and the three-point arc. As fans applauded their effort, Moran and Rothschild propelled their team to a 21-point lead at 38-17 to end the half.
In the second half, the Maroons’ perimeter defenders were licking their chops as they forced the Elgin Academy guards into seven straight turnovers on seven straight possessions. This eventually led to the highlight of the game, a Jordan Moran one hand breakaway slam over two Hill Topper Defenders. Some say Moran’s vertical leap reaches 37 inches on the dunk. He finished the game second in scoring with 16 points.
“I don’t know, I never measured it,” said Moran about his vertical leap.
“When I’m in the air, the only thing is on my mind is scoring the ball and nothing else.”
Final Score: U-High 74, Elgin Academy 24
The Maroons improved to 1-0 in conference play and 4-0 overall on the season. Their next game is Tuesday Dec. 10, against conference rivals Chicago International Charter-Ellison. Gametime 6 pm at University High, 1362 E. 59th St.