Larkin erases late deficit, ousts Jacobs
With 21 points in the first 22 minutes of the Class 4A South Elgin regional opener Monday night, nothing was coming easy for the Larkin girls basketball team.
Haley Bohne didn't get discouraged, and the Royals' senior leader made two heads-up, hustle plays that sparked a 5-point possession that started a comeback from 9 points down for a 44-39 win over Jacobs.
Trailing 29-21, Bohne inbounded the ball under her own basket. When Jacobs turned its back, Bohne threw a pass off the back of the defender, picked up the ball and scored while getting fouled.
Bohne missed the free throw, and on a long rebound, she chased down the carom just before it went out of bounds and dove for it, throwing the ball off a Jacobs player to keep possession. Amber Allen buried a 3-pointer immediately after, suddenly bringing the Royals within 29-26.
"My dad (Eric) and I used to talk about it when I was little. It works sometimes," Bohne said of the inbounds play.
"Coach (Steve Knapp) talks about hustling after the ball and that's how we win games sometimes by hustling, diving after every ball. I've always liked doing that."
That sequence gave No. 10 seed Larkin (5-22) a lift, yet the Royals still trailed 35-30 with 3:38 remaining after Kyra Cabusao drove for a basket.
Bohne again stepped up, knocking down an 18-foot corner jumper. Aaliyah Dixon tied the game at 35 with a 3-pointer, and Bohne followed with a 3 of her own for a 38-35 lead with 1:48 left -- Larkin's first since 4-2.
"(Assistant) Coach (Kristie) Alexander kept telling me shoot the ball, shoot the ball, don't worry about the last one, and that's what I did," Bohne said.
Seventh-seed Jacobs (9-18) misfired on its next two possessions, and Brianna Young and Allen swished 4 straight free throws to push the margin to 42-35 at :36.9.
Dixon led Larkin in scoring with 15 points, Young scored 14 and Allen 7 while Bohne battled for 11 rebounds to go with her 8 points.
"I told everyone on the bench that's how we need to play every single play," Knapp said of Bohne's hustle play. "I think the momentum changed right from there. Haley has been the leader all year. I'm so happy for her that she made that happen."
Playing without starting guard Liz Schwartz who tore her ACL a week ago against Prairie Ridge, Jacobs built an 8-4 lead after one quarter and 22-17 at halftime by holding Larkin to 5-of-21 shooting in the first half.
Kerri Healy, Jacobs' only senior, scored 12 of her 14 points in the first half including a pair of nifty finishes in traffic when she spun the ball off the backboard and in.
But without Schwartz, and with Cabusao playing for the first time since injuring her ankle in the same game against Prairie Ridge, the Golden Eagles shot just 25 percent (7 for 28) in the second half.
"The kids all year long have responded to challenges and I think tonight we just ran out of gas," Jacobs coach Joe Benoit said. "This time in February anything can happen and you obviously saw it tonight."
Healy also grabbed 9 rebounds, and Aleicia Valldejuli, in what Benoit called "her best game of the year," finished with 9 points and 9 rebounds.
"A lot of growing pains this year but the future is tremendously bright for this group," Benoit said.
Larkin advances to the semifinals Tuesday night against No. 2 seed Dundee-Crown (17-8).
"They have always been a good program," Bohne said. "We play them in the summer. Hopefully we can come out with another win.
"This win means a lot to us to continue the season for the seniors and I. Having a comeback like that means everything for us."