Liz Skaggs uttered a frequently used basketball cliché Tuesday night in Aurora.
"We know that free throws win games," the West Aurora senior forward said after the Blackhawks converted 10 consecutive fourth-quarter free-throw attempts against visiting DeKalb.
In turning back their longtime former Upstate Eight Conference rival at the WarHawk Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament, the Blackhawks' 45-34 victory was their third in succession to the infant girls season.
"Everything about this team makes me smile," West Aurora coach Connie Siljendahl said.
Brittney Patrick scored a game-high 21 points for DeKalb (2-1), and the sophomore point guard had a running one-hander in the lane to bring the Barbs to within 31-29 with five-plus minutes to play.
But Taylor Jacobsen would reply with three almost carbon-copy field goals to typify the Blackhawks' tenacity with the lead.
Scoring three times in the fourth quarter driving from the right side of the lane, Jacobsen, who matched Skaggs' 10 points to share team-scoring honors, had the Blackhawks' only field goals of the quarter.
"We were in 'Kentucky,' which is a spread out (offense)," Jacobsen. "I can't go to my left very well. I just like to take it to the basket. I like to drive."
The second Jacobsen driving layup doubled the Blackhawks' lead once again to 37-29 with 3:03 remaining to play.
Twin sister Erin Jacobsen hit four straight foul shots on back-to-back possessions for West Aurora, which finished 18-for-22 for the game at the free-throw line.
The other central development for West Aurora (3-0) was its pivotal 16-2 run bridging the opening two quarters.
The Blackhawks' burst -- triggered by consecutive 3-point plays from Alexis Wiggins and Skaggs -- reversed an 8-1 DeKalb start.
The Barbs would never lead again.
Abriya Zeitz and Taylor Jacobsen -- both four-year varsity players, as is Erin Jacobsen and Skaggs -- opened the second quarter with field goals to conclude the run.
"We're trying to be unselfish," Skaggs said. "We were going to do whatever we could to put points on the board."
West Aurora, which led 23-15 at the break, limped into the fourth quarter with a 4-point lead as Carly Frauenhoff had the Blackhawks' lone field goal in the third with a 3-pointer from the right wing.
But the Blackhawks would surrender a mere 10 field goals defensively for the game.
Madelyn Johnson had 7 points for the Barbs, but only two other players scored for DeKalb.
"You have to give (West Aurora) credit," DeKalb coach Chris Davenport said. "They're a lot better basketball team than they were last year. They get after it. Their energy pretty much sustained the entire night. Our energy did not."
Zeitz finished with 7 points, 6 rebounds and a key block for West Aurora.