When it came time for someone on the Jacobs boys basketball team to make a play, junior point guard Chris Orange knew it was on him to rise to the occasion.
Orange thought the charge he took in overtime in the Golden Eagles' come-from-behind 56-54 Fox Valley Conference Valley overtime win over Prairie Ridge Tuesday night in Crystal Lake was much more important than his game-tying 3-point play with 52.2 seconds remaining in regulation.
But that was just the cusp of what Orange critically did in the final quarter and overtime of a game that, except for the third quarter, was tight throughout.
Orange scored 9 of his team-high 14 points in that span, which rallied Jacobs (2-3, 1-0) back from 9-point deficit in the third and Jacobs used another big play from junior reserve Corey Boeckh, who put Jacobs ahead for good with 1:22 left in OT on his left corner 3-pointer designed for him coming out of a timeout.
"(Coach Jim Roberts) always says someone has to make a play and it was my time to just make a play," Orange said. "All we had to do was keep fighting, keep fighting and that's what we did. The team is just flowing after that."
Jacobs' second-straight win comes on the heels of an 0-3 start in the Quincy Tournament, with two games lost at the buzzer. After the Golden Eagles were able to shake off deficits of 5 points in the final 3 minutes of regulation and 3 points in the final minutes OT, the trip did the Golden Eagles a lot of good in retrospect.
"We've had a season's worth of game situations down at Quincy," said Roberts. "So coming out of there 0-3 we felt pretty good as a team and we felt confident when we were going to face situations like that the next time.
"We were talking about all week it's going to be a one-possession game, it's going to be a war and it's going to be fun."
Roberts couldn't be any more accurate about this one. But it only helped that PR was 9 of 22 from the free throw line as the Wolves went 1 of 10 in final 12 minutes.
When PR's Michael Bradshaw missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 1:07 left in the fourth, it set up Orange's game-tying layup, a drive across the lane that finished with a double pump and finish on the right angle of the glass. Orange finished with 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks.
After Ben Murray's shot almost won it for Jacobs as time expired but hit the front iron, PR (5-3, 0-1) grabbed a 3-point lead until Orange took a charge with 2:21 left in OT that fouled out Jack Berg.
"He's a junior but he's our leader, he's vocal, he makes tough plays that charge," said Roberts, whose team shot just 35 percent. "It was an unbelievable play to step up in there on that kid and take it."
On the subsequent possession, Orange's layup made it 53-52. Next, PR sank its only free throw in the final 12 minutes and then off the set play, Orange inbounded to Boeckh who, off the left block, came off an up-screen and drained a left corner 3 with 1:22 left.
"I didn't have enough room to shoot so I pump-faked, sidestepped and made the shot," said Boeckh. "No one ever gives up on the team, we're always fighting back. Everyone was calm even when we were down 10."
PR had a chance to tie with the final possession but the ball was poked away and the Wolves couldn't get off a final shot.
Steven Ticknor had a game-high 18 points to go with 9 rebounds. Payton Otto added 11 and PR shot 21 of 44 from the field.
"We missed some free throws and they crushed us on the boards," said PR coach Corky Card, whose team gave up 15 offensive rebounds. "They hit big some big shots."