Jacobs not happy with narrow win

By Dave Hess
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/2/2018 11:01 PM

Jacobs coach Jimmy Roberts certainly didn't sound like a coach with an 18-3 overall record along with a perfect Fox Valley Conference slate with a 10-0 mark.

The uninspired Golden Eagles were able to eke out a 45-38 FVC win over Hampshire Friday night in Algonquin.

"We went through the motions and played with absolutely no intensity," said Roberts. "I have never been so unproud of the way we played in the 5 years I have been the coach at Jacobs. That is not only on the players but that is on me and all the coaches. Hampshire played harder than us and that is not acceptable. We need to accept the challenge and play better."

The Golden Eagles also received bad news with an injury to senior standout Ryan Phillips in the first quarter.

"I dove for a loose ball and smacked and cracked my hand," said Phillips. "It doesn't feel good and I feel like it could be a broken hand. I am going to have it looked at and will see what happens."

Despite playing most of the game without Phillips, the Golden Eagles were able to compile a 12-point, 28-16 advantage after a putback by Jo Price with 2:36 left in the third quarter.

But, the pesky Whip-Purs refused to quit and got to within 41-38 on a 15-footer by Nathan Cork with 1:28 remaining in the contest.

Cork's basket was the last points the Whip-Purs (5-18, 1-10) would score in the game.

The Golden Eagles, who were only 7-of-18 from the free throw line, sealed the win by connecting on 4-of-4 from the charity stripe in the final 45 seconds.

Nik Balkcom and Jaden Henderson each made 2-of-2 from the line in the Golden Eagles 7-point win.

Henderson, in a reserve role, paced the Eagles with 9 points including a trey.

"With Ryan (Phillips) out, Jaden got more minutes and played very well and stepped up," said Roberts. "He knocked down some big shots and keeps getting better every game. We don't know how long Ryan will be out. Jaden will play a bigger role."

Dan Murray, with a key 3 in the fourth quarter, and Phillips added 7 apiece for the winners. Price (10 rebounds, 3 blocked shots) and Balkcom scored 6 each.

"It was a weird game and we were just happy to win," said Murray. "It was a sloppy game on our part. We need to get together as a team and talk and get things ironed out. We need to play with more effort."

Collin Woods was the lone Whip-Pur in double digits with 11.

"I liked the way we competed especially on the defensive end," said Hampshire coach Ben Whitehouse. "I like the way we are committing and buying in at the defensive end. On offense, we had good looks but didn't knock down enough shots. Jacobs is the top team in the conference and it was a road challenge for us."

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