By Jeremy McDonald
JEFFERSON, Ore.– The three-quarters press work to perfection in the first half against Colton Monday night.
Textbook perhaps in Jefferson’s 83-51 victory against the Vikings to close out the 2019 calendar year with a 5-2 record to their resume.
“We always like to be up on in everybody’s face and put pressure up on the ball and get really energetic out there,” said DJ Krider. “We’re not very tall so we try to be the most energetic and intense defense we can.”
Krider scored 16 of his 17 points in the first half. But the energy from the defense, to their transition game into their offense was the story of the opening 16 minutes.
Ideally you want to be ahead by halftime with the style of play that the Lions play with their 2-1-2 defense from free throw-line to free throw-line with their press defense. But Jefferson held a comfortable lead entering the second half thanks to their defense 52-17 at the halftime break that had the Lions on pace of more than 100 points entering the second half before slowing it down entering the third and fourth quarters of play.
And it just steams to what first-year Head Coach Danny Aguilar’s been preaching in that they may not be the tallest team on the court, but they’ll find a way to outwork you on a game-to-game basis.
“It feels great, it feels great to be able to execute to what he wants, we’ve been putting in the work,” said Danny Aguilar Jr. “We’re definitely not one of the biggest teams out there, but that just means we got to bust our butts out there even more to make that message really clear to us. So it’s nice to be able to execute that out there definitely.”
Aguilar Jr. finished with 11 points in the win, all in the opening half, joining Krider, Elijah Stelly (14), Diego Rodriguez (12) and Diego Aguilar (10) in scoring in double figures Monday.
And as they wrap up the preseason with Willamina on January 3 and Crow Saturday, it’s a matter of bridging that hot start with their defense to finish their non-league schedule on a strong note entering Central Valley Conference-play on January 7 at Lowell going back to what they’re about:
“We just got to keep working and keep getting better. Just being good on defense and defense always wins games and that’s what we’re about this year,” said Krider.