Jacobs freshman center Cam Krutwig will have better games.
But with the game in doubt, Krutwig came up big.
Krutwig’s putback of a missed shot attempt by Chris Orange with 6.9 seconds remaining tied the game at 49. Fouled on the play, Krutwig connected on the ensuing free throw which was the eventual game-winner.
A desperation shot by Crystal Lake South’s Colin Wagner clanged off the backboard and the Golden Eagles survived with a 50-49 win over the Gators in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division boys basketball action in Algonquin Friday night.
“My job is when there is a shot to crash the boards,” said Krutwig, who finished with 5 points and 9 rebounds. “Everybody collapses on Chris and know I have to get to the glass. I just tipped it hoping it would go in. I just tried to calm myself down and make the free throw.”
Jacobs coach Jim Roberts stated Krutwig did exactly what he was supposed to on the winning play.
‘Teams know Chris will take that shot at the end of the game and give him a lot of attention,” said Roberts. “We want Cam in there crashing the boards. He got a hand on it and got the bounce.”
Trailing 24-19 at halftime, Jacobs (12-12, 6-4) came out and seized control of the game to start the third quarter. Making their first 5 shots of the second half including 3-of-3 from 3-point range, the Golden Eagles scored the first 13 points and turned a 5-point deficit into a 8-point 32-24 advantage with 3:22 left in the quarter.
Orange scored 7 points including a 3 and Ben Murray canned a pair of treys during Jacobs’ pivotal surge.
Outscoring Crystal Lake South 18-3 in the quarter, Jacobs led by 10, 37-27, after 24 minutes.
The Golden Eagles’ biggest lead was 12, 45-33, after a 12-footer by Murray with 4 minutes left.
The spirited Gators refused to quit and roared back with a 16-2 run. Nine points from Kyle Bartusch, 4 from Caleb Johnson and a 3 from Wagner spearheaded South’s valiant comeback.
Johnson’s 3 with 20 seconds left gave the Gators (14-8, 3-6) a 2-point lead, 49-47, with 18 seconds left which set up Krutwig’s heroics.
“These kids showed super resiliency tonight,” said Gators’ coach Matt LePage. “They could have given up. I am very proud of them.”
Orange led Jacobs with 22 points while Murray scored 13. Bartusch led South with 14 while Johnson scored 10.