The Jacobs boys basketball team fell victim to the Prairie Ridge snowball effect on a snowy Saturday night in Algonquin.
The Golden Eagles used defensive pressure and turnovers to build an 18-point first-half lead only to see the Wolves steal momentum and come all the way back for a 52-47 victory in a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division game.
Jacobs (11-11, 5-3) led 32-14 in the second quarter, but the Wolves trimmed the deficit to 32-23 by halftime and outscored the Golden Eagles 17-10 in the third quarter to make it a 2-point game. Jacobs' 10 second-half turnovers fueled the Prairie Ridge comeback.
"We have to be strong with the ball so we don't let them get on that run and get the snowball effect," Jacobs junior guard Chrishawn Orange said. "We have to get better."
Prairie Ridge (13-10, 4-3) trailed 44-40 early in the fourth quarter when senior guard Michael Bradshaw sank a long 3-pointer over Orange. Soon thereafter, 6-foot-5 senior Steven Ticknor caught a kick-out pass in the left corner from penetrating guard Matt Perhats and drained an open three that gave the Wolves their first lead, 46-44, with 4:30 to play.
Jacobs regained the lead briefly as Orange was fouled on consecutive possessions and connected on 3 of 4 free throws. However, Ticknor again buried a 3-pointer from the left corner that gave the Wolves the lead for good, 49-47.
"I got a lot of in-rhythm shots, step-in threes," Ticknor said of his game-high 24-points. "My teammates were getting me the ball so that was nice. But we knew we couldn't get back in the game in one shot. We had to stop them on the defensive end, which is where we pride ourselves."
The Golden Eagles missed all 8 of their second-half tries from beyond the arc. Jacobs made 1 of 10 shots from the field in the fourth-quarter and missed 7 of 13 free throws in the game. Meanwhile, Prairie Ridge sank 4 of 9 second-half attempts from 3-point range.
"The ball started rolling downhill against us and we couldn't stop it. Again." Jacobs coach Jimmy Roberts said. "It has happened a couple of times this year. They made some big shots. Ticknor hit some big threes when he was open, Bradshaw made a couple of long threes. They made shots and we didn't.
"When we were up big we missed opportunities at the free throw line and we had a couple of travels that would have been layups. We had opportunities to extend the lead and we just couldn't do it."
Orange finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds and senior Ben Murray scored 8 points for Jacobs, all in the first half. Freshman Cameron Krutwig also contributed 8 points.
Bradshaw, Perhats and junior forward Jack Berg scored 8 points apiece for Prairie Ridge.