Another Saturday, another big stage for the Jacobs boys basketball team.
Jacobs (17-1) faces its third straight challenging Saturday afternoon game, this time against New Trier (9-6) at the 7th Annual War on the Shore Shootout, hosted by Evanston.
The event matches three north shore high schools against teams from around the Chicago area. The slate begins at 3:30 p.m. with Jacobs vs. New Trier, followed by Loyola Academy (13-5) vs. St. Patrick (18-2) and Evanston (15-3) vs. Homewood-Flossmoor (15-5).
Jacobs fared well last Saturday in a 67-55 win over Hillcrest (13-6) at the When Sides Collide Shootout at Glenbard East.
It was an improvement over the previous Saturday, when the Golden Eagles dropped a home game against Prairie Ridge with first place in the Fox Valley Conference at stake.
Winners of three in a row since, Jacobs faces New Trier with an eye on payback. The Trevians entered last year's game with a 12-8 record yet thumped the Golden Eagles 47-31. Jacobs entered that game 16-3.
"We didn't play well. It left a bad taste in our mouths," Jacobs coach Jimmy Roberts said Tuesday after his team defeated rival Dundee-Crown 60-47. "The kids see it as an opportunity to get out and play in a big event with big-name programs, teams that we compete against all summer long. And we didn't play well last year, so I know our kids are excited to go and play them again. We played well last Saturday in one of those events. We're definitely looking forward to this one again."
Jacobs senior Cameron Krutwig continues to enjoy a tremendous season. The 6-foot-9 senior, committed to Loyola, averages a double-double with 16.2 points and 14.2 rebounds per game. Also a strong passer, his 2.4 assists are second on the team only to junior point guard Nikolas Balkcom's 2.6.
Prairie Ridge (14-5) defeated Jacobs 50-41 two Saturdays ago. The Wolves won, partly, by limiting Krutwig to a season-low 10 shot attempts, though he still scored 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting. Afterward, PR coach Corky Card was asked what it took to slow Jacobs' big man.
"We tried to get five guys on top of him, and then the other three kids we tried to pressure the ball," Card explained. When a reporter pointed out such a plan requires eight players, he grinned and said "Yup, you've gotta play like you've got eight out there."
Krutwig's strong passes from the lane to the perimeter create shot attempts on for guards like senior Cooper Schwartz and junior Ryan Phillips. Jacobs shoots 35.1 percent from 3-point range as a team. Schwartz shoots 39.6 percent (38 of 96) while is a 32-percent 3-point shooter (22 of 68).
Recently, teams have sagged off Balkcom while concentrating on stopping Schwartz and Phillips. He made Dundee-Crown pay by sinking three first-half 3-pointers, upping his season total from 3-point range to
"All of our guys can shoot," Roberts said.
The Trevians possess something Krutwig and the Golden Eagles don't see regularly during their 16-game FVC schedule: height. New Trier's frontcourt includes 6-9 senior Ciaran Brayboy and 6-8 sophomore Spencer Boehm.
"They're big," Roberts said. "The 6-8 and 6-9 kids start, so it'll be fun because we don't play against a lot of big, a lot of height. Obviously, we have some of that. They're always well coached and they play in a good league with good competition. It'll be good for us."
Cortez-Harvey pouring in points: St. Edward senior Kelvin Cortez-Harvey scored 44 points last Saturday night in a 78-69 loss to Chicago Christian, a school record, according to St. Edward coach and athletic director P.J. White.
It was yet another terrific offensive performance in a season full of them for the 5-foot-11, uncommitted, fourth-year varsity guard, who scored his 1,000th career point on Nov. 25.
"He's a leader by example," White said. "He just plays hard all the time. He practices like that, too. He's just a super-positive role model. Even when things don't go his way, I've not seen him get down. I've not seen him get upset. He's the kind of kid you'd like to have cloned."
Cortez-Harvey is unlikely to challenge St. Edward's career scoring record. That mark is held by 1991 graduate Eric Sauceda, who tallied 1,866 career points. Sauceda also holds the record for single-season scoring with 716.
Geneva Hall of Fame ceremony: Geneva High School will honor its 2017 Hall of Fame inductees Friday night at halftime of the Vikings' game against Larkin. Included in the ceremony will be 1962 graduate Gregg Nelson, who played football, golf and basketball before going on to play at Memphis State. All-state soccer player Zac Scaffidi will also be inducted. He is a 2005 graduate who went on to lead Michigan State to three NCAA Tournament appearances. Also being recognized will be the 2007 and 2008 state champion girls cross-country teams. The 2007 team was the first Geneva team to win a state championship in any sport.