In what was his last game coaching in the Dundee-Crown gym, the swan song for Jacobs boys basketball coach Jim Hinkle became a bitter pill to swallow.
After Nick Ledinsky and Will Schwerdtmann torched the Chargers in a double-overtime win in Algonquin on January 15, the assignment Dylan Kissack and Brandon Rodriguez received from D-C coach Lance Huber in Friday night's rematch was pretty simple.
"Obviously Ledinsky and Schwerdtmann lit us up in the first game, they were fantastic," Huber said. "When you're assigned to guard them, you kind of want a shot of proving what you can do and that's some pretty big motivation."
In front of a raucous crowd of approximately 1,900 that invigorated D-C, Kissack and Rodriguez got their shot and held the Jacobs duo to 11 points combined on 5 of 18 shooting while accounting for half of the Chargers' points a 60-44 Fox Valley Conference Valley win between the District 300 rivals.
Kissack finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds while Rodriguez had 14 points and 7 rebounds, including a 20-foot buzzer-beater at the end of the first half which capped a 15-1 run where Dundee-Crown (15-5, 6-2) turned a 5-point deficit into an 8-point lead in the last 3:48 of the quarter.
"That was one of our main objectives, to shut down Will and Nick because they took it to us last game," said Kissack, who was 3 of 4 from 3-point range. "(We) pretty much had a lot of defensive intensity. We knew last game in double overtime that we were in need of some stops and rebounds so our main focus was to get stops on the defensive end and box out and rebound, not let them get second chances."
D-C won the edge on the glass 30-22 and shot a 55 percent clip on 19 of 34 shooting while holding Jacobs (11-10, 4-3) to 19 of 50 shooting. The Chargers took control after Ledinsky's fadeaway put Jacobs up 5 in the second quarter. Cordero Parson and Deonta Conley hit key shots, Kissack nailed a 3 and Rodriguez hit 2 contested 20-footers that gave the Chargers an 18-7 quarter edge going into halftime on 7 of 9 shooting. In the last 3:48, Jacobs converted just a free throw.
"I thought the last two minutes of the first half really turned the game around," Hinkle said. "In a two-minute time span (their) defense really took over and they hit some big buckets. Rodriguez hit two when we were right in his face. They weren't like cheapies. They had a great game. This was their turn."
Lake Ojo had 6 points and 10 rebounds while Chrishawn Orange led Jacobs with 12 points. His 3 during the onset of the third quarter got the lead down to 8, but it was too much to overcome as D-C's defense made it bittersweet for Hinkle, who coached at Irving Crown for 7 years and was D-C's first coach after the merger in 1983.
"It's hard for people to believe -- I wasn't rooting them tonight but I root for them all the other games," Hinkle said. "I don't hate these people, I like most of the people here, of course most of them I knew are dead. I loved it when I was here at Irving Crown and Dundee-Crown.
"I'm at a great place at Jacobs. I feel like I got people on both sides of the room and I've enjoyed all of them. So when we're not playing them, I wish them the best. I just wish they didn't have their best tonight, but they did. "