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Jacobs usually shoots plenty of free throws in practice.
All that practice paid off as the Golden Eagles' free-throw prowess helped them hold off Dundee-Crown, 64-53, in a hard-fought Fox Valley Conference Valley Division girls basketball matchup Tuesday night at the Eagles' Nest in Algonquin.
Carly Sidor led the Eagles' parade to the foul line, making 7 of 8 in the fourth quarter. In all, Jacobs made 18 of 21 free throws in the final 8 minutes, and 25 of 31 for the game.
Jenni Barnec, who finished with a game-high 16 points, made a crucial 3-pointer and scored 10 points during the wild final period. Mia Williams made 5 of 6 free throws in the period, finishing with 14 points, as did Sidor.
Teaghan Richman added 7 points and Megan Mangieri provided a big lift off the bench with 7 points and 9 rebounds for Jacobs (4-15, 2-4).
Jacobs led 37-27 after three periods. The Eagles threatened to put the game away several times, but the Chargers refused to go away. Melissa Barker knocked down 3 3-pointers during the final quarter to help keep the Chargers close. Barker finished with 14 points, and Lauren Lococo added 13 for D-C.
"I told the kids that getting to the line was going to be important tonight against Crown's aggressive defense," said Jacobs coach Joe Benoit. "We shoot a ton of free throws in practice and give credit. They all went to the line and it seemed like girl after girl hit big shots."
With Jacobs ahead 47-33, Emily Michalski made 2 free throws, Barker nailed a 3-pointer and, after a Michalski steal, Kayla Lawrence added a driving layup to make it 47-40. The Chargers (6-16, 1-5) got as close as 54-49 with 1:17 left, but the Eagles put the game away at the line, making 6 of 7 free throws plus a couple of layups in the final minute.
"They were working really hard. Dundee-Crown made a lot of 3s, and we fought back with our free throws," said Barnec. "We work on them a lot in practice. But they never gave up."
Michalski finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds for D-C. Jess Laboy had 6 points and 6 rebounds before being helped off the court with an apparent ankle injury in the third quarter.
"Welcome to a Crown-Jacobs game," Benoit said. "Give D-C credit. They just kept coming at us and coming at us. I don't know what they shot in the fourth quarter, but it seemed like just about everything they put up went in."