A high school boys basketball coach doesn't always know what he's going to get from his team from day to day.
Take the last two Jacobs games for instance.
Though the highly regarded Golden Eagles entered Wednesday's game against Crystal Lake Central 5-0, they couldn't shake the 1-4 Tigers until the final seconds of a 3-point win.
The next day Jacobs coach Jimmy Roberts sent his unfocused team home from practice early, something he said he hasn't done since coaching at Round Lake.
Following Friday's sharper practice, Jacobs on Saturday played from the start with the precision and determination of a two-time defending league champion. The Golden Eagles tore through Hampshire in a 78-31 Fox Valley Conference victory with the relentlessness of kids tearing through holiday wrapping paper. Jacobs led 20-6 after a quarter, 43-11 at the half and 70-20 after three.
"We're just playing more as a unit," said 6-foot-9 Jacobs senior Cam Krutwig, who led the barrage with 12 points, highlighted by a one-handed slam in transition after his own steal. "The Central game we were discombobulated a little bit. Now, we're just moving more as a unit, moving together. It's definitely helping us."
Jacobs tied a school record for 3-pointers with 12. Ajani Rodriguez, Joe Hogle, Anthony Perry, and Cooper Schwartz each sank a pair from beyond the arc.
In all, 13 different players scored at least 2 points and eight players connected on a 3-pointer in the 23rd straight FVC win for Jacobs (7-0, 3-0).
"It was pretty fun," said 6-8 sophomore Joacheim Price, who had 2 points and 4 rebounds. "Everyone came out and tried their hardest. That was thing, the key to the game: play hard."
Hampshire (1-6, 0-3) was limited to 12-of-39 shooting (31 percent) and committed 20 turnovers in the game's first three quarters.
"They're really, really good, but we have to look at ourselves as a team and individually," Hampshire coach Ben Whitehouse said. "We just need to play better than we did. Ultimately, they played very well. That's a very good team, they are a large reason why the outcome is the way it is. We have to move forward."
Nate Gomez, Billy Dumoulin and Isaiah Gonzalez each had 6 points to lead the Whip-Purs.