It took Jacobs senior Cameron Krutwig less than a minute Friday night to show Larkin and a standing-room-only crowd of over 3,000 just how ready he was to be the dominant force on the floor.
Scoring 10 of his team's first 14 points, including 6 of the first 8 in the game, and with his future college coach Porter Moser of Loyola looking on, Krutwig had a monster night with 20 points, 24 rebounds, 12 blocks and 6 assists as the Golden Eagles' boys basketball team defeated Larkin 62-39 to win the Class 4A Elgin sectional at Chesbrough Field House.
"I wanted to come out hot," said Krutwig, who made 8 of 11 field goal attempts. "The environment here is so great. I just looked for my shots, that's all.
"You can talk, talk, talk but you gotta back it up and tonight we backed it up."
It's the first sectional title for Jacobs in school history. The Eagles (30-1) will take on unbeaten Fremd (30-0) in the 7:30 p.m. supersectional Tuesday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. Fremd beat Conant 43-42 Friday night on a 3-pointer by Kyle Sliwa at the buzzer.
"It's going to be exciting," said fourth-year Jacobs coach Jimmy Roberts. "It's great for our kids and great for our school. We're one game away from going to Peoria. It's a special opportunity."
The Golden Eagles led Friday's game wire-to-wire and never let Larkin (19-15), which made just 6 of 37 field goal attempts in the first 16 minutes, threaten their early lead.
Matched against 6-goot-10 Larkin junior Jalen Shaw, the 6-9 Krutwig used his athleticism to spin to the basket and score, and to block shot after shot on the defensive end.
"When Cam plays against size that's how he looks," said Roberts. "If there's a better player in the state of Illinois playing tonight ... there might be as good, but not better."
"I think the difference tonight just might be age," said Larkin coach Deryn Carter. "Krutwig is probably 18 and Jalen is a young 16. I thought Jalen played awesome tonight."
Even though his team led 24-12 at halftime, Roberts didn't feel the Eagles were playing their best basketball.
"We didn't play great offensively in the first half," he said. "I got on them pretty good at halftime. We had an opportunity to be in better shape than we were. We wanted to extend the lead right away in the second half."
And that the Eagles did, going on a 16-3 run to start the third quarter, opening up a 40-15 lead with 2:53 left in the period. The closest Larkin would get the rest of the way would be 19.
While Krutwig continued to dominate inside on both ends of the floor, Jacobs junior Ryan Phillips scored 10 points in the third quarter, 8 of them on driving layups. He finished with 20 points on the night.
"We would have been OK with Krutwig getting 20 but we can't be giving 20 to Phillips on layup after layup," said Carter.
"(Krutwig) was good, man, he was really good. Hats off to them. It's a rough way for us to finish but it is what it is. They were the better team tonight. Hats off to coach Roberts. They've been building for this for four years and good luck to them in supers. I hope they win."
Senior Mason Materna added 11 points for Jacobs, which shot 26 of 54 for the night.
Kashmir Ivy led Larkin with 15 points in his final game as a Royal while Shaw had 10 points and 16 rebounds. Junior Anthony Lynch scored 7 points. While they did shoot better in the second half, the Royals finished the game 17-for-66 (25.7 percent).
"I'm super proud of Kashmir," Carter said. "His game has developed so much. The future is bright for him."
Ivy and Jalen Webb -- along with the injured Christian Negron, who will join Krutwig at Loyola -- are the only players Larkin graduates, leaving the future to be bright for the Royals as well.
"We'll keep working at it and we'll be back," Carter said.