Rebounding was the theme of Jacobs' 61-54 Fox Valley Conference win at Prairie Ridge Friday both literally and figuratively.
Bigger Jacobs used the combination of size advantage and desire to dominate the battle of the boards. Led by 19 rebounds from 6-foot-9 senior Cameron Krutwig, who showed no effects of a rolled ankle in Tuesday's win at Cary-Grove, the Golden Eagles outrebounded the Wolves 45-14.
The victory was the 10th straight for Jacobs (24-1, 13-1), an impressive rebound from its only defeat, a 50-41 loss to Prairie Ridge (18-7, 12-2) on Jan. 14.
"To start off 14-0, drop one, then come right back and go on another stretch is a credit to our kids," Jacobs coach Jimmy Roberts said. "They really felt something after that PR game, so there was a little bit more there happening for sure."
The victory gives Jacobs a 1-game lead over the Wolves with FVC home games remaining Tuesday against McHenry (16-10, 11-3) and Friday against rival Dundee-Crown (4-21, 2-13).
"It's not over yet," Krutwig said of the FVC title chase. "I'd obviously like to win it. It would be three years in a row for me. We've got to take care of business Tuesday and Friday. I think we're only up 1 game now. Anything could happen, but we're definitely on a good path."
Jacobs played the first quarter like a team hungry to avenge its lone loss, hauling down 15 rebounds to Prairie Ridge's 2, led by Krutwig's 8. The Golden Eagles led 7-4 when they crashed the boards for 4 separate offensive rebounds on the same possession. Finally, senior Mason Materna drilled a 3-pointer to the loud approval of a fired-up Jacobs bench.
Materna snared 8 of his 9 rebounds in the first half -- "We made it a mission tonight to try to get some offensive boards," he said -- and senior guard Cooper Schwartz sank two of his three 3-pointers to help Jacobs double up the Wolves 28-14 by halftime.
Jacobs junior guard Ryan Phillips connected on four second-half 3-pointers, the last of which stretched the Golden Eagles' lead to 23 points early in the fourth quarter.
The Wolves gnawed away at the deficit with the help of 9 Jacobs fourth-quarter turnovers. Prairie Ridge senior guards Trevor Potter and James Queen combined to make five 3-pointers in the final period to tighten things up, but it wasn't enough to overcome Prairie Ridge's pronounced first-half rebounding deficiency.
"We really couldn't keep them off the boards in the first half," PR coach Corky Card said. "I thought the second half we scrapped a little bit better and we got more of a flow on offense but in the first half, obviously, we had a lot of trouble."
Potter led the Wolves with 16 points, 14 in the fourth quarter. Senior guard Brian Dorn finished with 13 points and senior center Austen Ferbet added 12.
Phillips led Jacobs with 16 points, Krutwig scored 15 and Schwartz contributed 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting.