Evan Jackson’s emerging three-point shot helps De La Salle take down Fenwick

De La Salle senior Evan Jackson was a force in the post last season, but he knows that isn’t what colleges want to see.

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De La Salle’s Evan Jackson (11) shoots the ball over Fenwick’s Damion Porter Jr (10).

De La Salle’s Evan Jackson (11) shoots the ball over Fenwick’s Damion Porter Jr (10).

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Being 6-7 and athletic isn’t enough for college coaches anymore. The first question will always be the same: Can he shoot?

De La Salle senior Evan Jackson was a force in the post last season, but he knows that isn’t what colleges want to see. 

“I worked on my shot the whole offseason,” Jackson said. “I have to shoot the three because I’m not big enough to just be in the paint. But I’m still going to continue to rebound and do what I did last year.” 

The work has paid off. Jackson gets the three-point shot off quickly and accurately. He was 4-for-6 from three-point range in the Meteors’ 56-49 win against visiting Fenwick on Thursday. 

Jackson made three free throws to tie the game at 48 with 1:46 to play and then drained a three with 56 seconds left to give De La Salle the lead for good. He finished with 20 points and six rebounds. 

“I don’t know why he isn’t considered one of the top players in the state,” Meteors coach Gary DeCesare said. “I don’t understand it. He’s 6-7, can handle the ball and shoot the three. He’s long and dangly and he gets his hand on a lot of plays. He’s got a great motor.”

Jackson has been an impact player for the past two seasons and the unsigned senior appears poised for a breakout season. 

“Evan is a hard worker,” De La Salle senior Anthony Davis said. “We go back to fifth grade. Seeing him grow and grow has been great.”

Davis, a four-year varsity guard, stepped up and stabilized things late for the Meteors (5-1). He made 5 of 6 free throws in the final 28 seconds to help seal the win. 

“That was the time to step up and lead the way,” Davis said. “Our team is young. We have a lot of freshmen, juniors and sophomores.”

Davis scored 10 points and 6-4 junior Richard Lindsey, a Simeon transfer, added 12 points and seven rebounds. Two freshmen, Charles Barnes and Remi Edwards, played significant minutes for De La Salle. 

“We have a good mix,” DeCesare said. “[Edwards] is a monster on the boards and I love Charles Barnes.”

De La Salle’s Richard Lindsey (21) reacts as he defends against Fenwick’s JT Pettigrew (11).

De La Salle’s Richard Lindsey (21) reacts as he defends against Fenwick’s JT Pettigrew (11).

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Fenwick doesn’t have a mix. The Friars (3-3) are just super young. They played eight sophomores and a junior. 

The inexperience led to 26 turnovers, but Fenwick fought through them and built a four-point lead early in the fourth quarter on back-to-back three-pointers by sophomores JT Pettigrew and Dominick Ducree. 

“We have to learn that when you get the lead with a couple minutes to go there is a lot of little stuff you need to do,” Friars coach Tony Young said. “They are growing. You can’t really be mad at them after these losses because they are learning.”

Ducree finished with 13 points and sophomore Damon Porter Jr. added 11 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Connor Fitzgerald scored nine points off the bench.

“This is the Chicago Catholic League,” Young said. “It’s tough, it’s gritty and you have to fight. You have to dive on the floor and make shots and take real charges and play real defense. If you don’t you are going to get exposed.”

Fenwick faces crosstown rival Oak Park in the Chicago Elite Classic on Friday at UIC.

Watch the final minute of Fenwick at De La Salle:

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