If there was ever a right way for Jacobs to begin retiring coach Jim Hinkle's last holiday tournament, a 56-35 opening victory over Marian Central in the 13th annual Golden Eagles' tournament that was Hinkle's creation will more than certainly do the trick, as the Eagles look to win their tournament for the first time since 2008.
"It's the last one, I'd certainly like to do well," Hinkle said, who ha coached in every tournament since its inception in 2000. "It's real good to get off to a good start. And we saw a Lakes team that we think is a very good team so we have a challenge for us coming back the day after Christmas."
Jacobs (4-5) will play Lakes Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Lakes beat Chicago Hope by 19 points earlier Saturday. But there was nothing great about how the Eagles got through the first half of their fourth-straight victory.
The Golden Eagles blew 11 layups on 7 of 28 shooting while allowing the Hurricanes to grab 4 offensive rebounds on the first possession alone. Of the 7 first half buckets drained, 5 came via offensive rebounds, as 10 second chance points helped fuel an 11-point lead at the break where Hinkle told them otherwise. .
"I told them they're a lot better than what they're showed," he said. "Let's show people what we can do. We're so much better than what they played in the first half."
Jacobs came out in the third quarter a different team and blew the game wide open in what became a tale of two halves. After Wyatt Lindell's 3-pointer closed the Jacobs' lead to 8 with a little over 6 minutes remaining, back-to-back 3s by Jon Berndt and a 3 by Nick Ledinsky put the Eagles ahead 35-18 with nearly 4 minutes left in the third quarter.
"It didn't take much for the flood gates to open there," said Ledinsky, who scored 10 points, hauled down 7 rebounds and had 3 blocks. "Kicking it out to our shooters did real well tonight."
And in the midst of a 20-3 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters, the Eagles held a 25-point advantage to begin the fourth, outscoring Marian Central (2-9) 22-8 in the third when Berndt scored 6 of his game-high 10 in the third. Jacobs shot 50 percent (9 of 18) from the field canning 3 of 4 from downtown.
"We were just getting better looks and coach told me to trust my shot and I got the open looks and took them," Berndt said. "We started off slow but we hit two 3s there and I think that pushed us forward to finish it off."
Lake Ojo also finished with 10 points, as Jacobs finished with a 43 percent clip from the field, shooting 46 percent in the second half, where its largest lead ballooned to as many as 27. They also won the edge on the glass 33-22, including 11 on the offensive side, and limited themselves to just 9 turnovers, with none in the third and 3 in the fourth.
Marian, led by Derek Caldez' 9 points, shot just 13 of 51 from the field and turned it over 18 times.
"They found a good rhythm in the third quarter," Hurricanes coach Curtis Price said. "made the shots that we missed. That was the ballgame."