The Larkin boys basketball team had scuttled the boat by the time Jacobs found its sea legs.
Larkin torpedoed the hosts 22-5 in the first quarter and stretched its lead to 25 points in the second quarter of an eventual 56-47 victory in the third-place game of the Hinkle Holiday Classic at Jacobs on Saturday.
It was a testament to the battle-tested Royals that they had any legs left at all, considering it was their seventh game in 10 days and ninth game in 16 days. Larkin (13-2) went 8-1 over that stretch, losing only to Zion-Benton in Friday's Hinkle Classic semifinal, 78-72.
"If you'd told us we'd be 8-1 and our loss would be a nonconference loss in the tournament, I'd have taken it," Larkin coach Deryn Carter said. "I'm really proud of the way our guys responded. That's a tough stretch for anybody, but our guys really hung in there and did what they needed to do throughout."
Larkin senior guard Derrick Streety helped his team get the jump on the Golden Eagles by scoring 8 of his team-high 14 points in the first quarter. Streety said he drew motivation from the Zion-Benton loss, in which he was held scoreless.
"The way I've been performing, I feel like I've been letting my team down so I had to step up," said Streety, who also had 3 rebounds and 2 assists. "We wanted to come out with a chip on our shoulder and go after them right away. We were all focused on the task at hand and we tried our hardest to start the way we wanted to start."
Larkin's defense limited Jacobs (5-5) to 2-of-11 shooting in the opening quarter and forced 4 turnovers.
"They were just ready to play," said Jacobs guard Chrishawn Orange, named to the all-tournament along with teammate Ben Murray. "That's a good team and they were locked in. It took a little while to just play how we play and do what we do. After we settled down the ball went in the basket and the defense really fed our offense."
Orange led Jacobs' second-quarter resurgence. The junior scored 10 of his game-high 18 points in the period, which the Golden Eagles won 18-13. He scored 8 of those points on the fast break, thanks to 6 Larkin turnovers in the period. The Royals committed only 6 turnovers in the other three quarters combined.
Larkin led 35-23 at halftime and 44-31 through three quarters, but Jacobs never stopped battling. Junior guard Kenton Mack scored 10 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter. His 3-pointer with 1:02 to play drew Jacobs within 55-44. He then made a steal by diving on the floor and calling timeout. Orange canned a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to establish a single-digit final margin.
"That's a team we could meet later down the road in a sectional or something, so we want them to respect us and know we're not a team that's just going to give in," Mack said. "That's the way we practice, that's the way we play and that's what we're taught. That's our motto: never give in and compete on every possession."
Larkin senior Drew Jones scored 8 points and grabbled 9 rebounds, senior Brayden Royse contributed 8 points 5 rebounds and senior guard Taylor Boley finished with 8 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Larkin senior guard Kendale McCullum (4 points) and freshman forward Christian Negron (4 points, 7 rebounds) were named to the all-tournament team.
Junior guard Cory Boeckh scored 9 points on 3-of-4 shooting from 3-point range.