Jacobs, Henderson notch win over Palatine
Jacobs Jaden Henderson's offseason training program came with the help of his father, Jessie. The elder Henderson was an all-state player at Elgin in the mid-1990s.
"Working with my father has helped me become a better player," said Jaden Henderson. "We just worked on things to help me become a better player. Things like heart, toughness, passion, and how to be a scrappy player."
The hard work is starting to pay dividends for the Golden Eagles and Henderson.
Henderson put up a double-double, scoring 17 points and pulling down 10 rebounds in Jacobs' first win at Palatine's Ed Molitor Thanksgiving tournament with a 52-47 win over the host Pirates Friday.
"We ask a lot from him," said Jacobs coach Jimmy Roberts of Henderson. "We ask him to play inside on defense, shoot the ball, and bring the ball up court. He has a chance to become one of the better guards we've had at Jacobs. He stays on the floor almost all the time."
Henderson and Matt McCoy helped get the Golden Eagles off to a good start against the 1-2 Pirates.
Henderson scored 8 points and McCoy (11 points) hit two 3-pointers as Jacobs built a 21-13 lead after one quarter.
When Jacobs would open a lead, Palatine's 6-foot-6 sophomore center Julian Campbell would reel the Golden Eagles back in.
Campbell scored 31 points and had 10 rebounds on 13 of 18 shooting from the floor.
"He had a real nice game for us and he's a presence on the floor," said Palatine coach Eric Millstone. "When he plays like that it helps open up the outside game but we didn't shoot very well tonight. Jacobs put together some good possessions. Our players are playing hard. We showed some fight and residue. We just have to be more opportunistic."
The Pirates connected on 20 of 49 while Jacobs hit on 17 of 37 and 11-for-16 from the free throw line.
Jacobs led by 14 at 45-31 with 6 minutes left in the game.
Palatine put together a 13-5 run following Campbell's 3-point play to make the score 50-44 with 36 seconds left.
Henderson and MCoy each hit a free throw as Jacobs led 52-44 before Campbell hit a 3-pointer with 7 seconds left.
"I think that this team will make big jumps to be a better team," said Roberts. "Winning games, no matter what sport, is hard. You have to figure out the formula to win. What we need to do is to pass the ball better."
Henderson, who started the last 10 games last season as a sophomore, knows what he has to do to make Jacobs a better team.
"I want to show leadership," said Henderson. "I want to be able to help my team by helping keeping things in order on the floor."