WESTON >> Down by one point and with 17 seconds remaining, and playing with four fouls, Notre Dame-Fairfield’s Jaylen Jennings wasn’t hesitant for one moment.
Jennings used a double pick, curled off at the free-throw line, drove to the right and scored to give the Lancers the 62-61 lead with six second remaining against Weston. The Trojans drove the ball down the court quickly and found an open look but just missed the mark, as Notre Dame survived for the 62-61 victory to improve to 2-0 in South-West Conference boys basketball play on Friday night.
“Actually, I was pretty confident out there,” Jennings said. “They set up a double pick for me and I knew I had the lane and I just had to go strong and finish.”
Added Notre Dame head coach Vin Laczkoski: “We ran a little curl play and JJ made a good move to the basket. He’s a tough kid.”
After a sluggish and turnover plagued first half by both clubs, it was an entertaining final two quarters that saw the lead go back and forth. Notre Dame went into the final eight minutes up by just one point.
Weston went ahead 59-57 after Asher Lee-Tyson made a free throw with under a minute to play and looked in control. But the Lancers responded as sophomore Jesse McIntosh drilled a three in the left corner to give his team the 60-59 advantage. But again, the Trojans moved the ball up court swiftly and connected on a jumper to go up 61-60 with under 20 seconds left.
That set up Jennings’ winning-shot.
Jennings, who scored 15 of his team-high 21 points in the second half, was the lone senior on the court for the Lancer during the final possessions; something Laczkoski was most proud of.
“The greatest thing I can tell you is at the end of the game, we had two juniors, a sophomore and a senior,” he said. “And we’re just trying to get our identity since we lost Danny (Upchurch) and Earl (Coleman) (to graduation).”
CJ Davidson added 14 points in the win as the Lancers picked up their third win of the season against a talented Weston squad that finished as the Class M runner up last season.
“This is a huge win,” Jennings said. “We got off to a rough start and this is our second league win, so I think it’s really big.”
Weston (3-3) was led by junior Matt Folger’s game-high 22 points. Lee-Tyson finished with 14 points.
The Lancers will look to carry the momentum over to next week as they travel to Masuk on Tuesday at 7 p.m.