Maine West rolls into finals at Dundee-Crown
Right from her first shot of the game, it looked like it was going to be a good night for Maine West guard Jocelyn Jacob.
Coming off the bench midway through the opening quarter, the senior launched a 3-pointer that hit the rim, bounced straight up about 10 feet in the air, then fell straight down through the basket without rippling the net.
Jacob went on to score 18 points - all in the first half - to help lead the Warriors to a 62-39 girls basketball victory over Rockton Hononegah in the semifinals of the Dundee-Crown Komaromy Classic.
The Warriors will try for their third straight championship when they face New Trier in Saturday's 8 p.m. title match.
"I shoot with confidence," said Jacob, who sank 4 3-pointers. "I believe that every shot is going to go in. When I saw that one go in, I told myself I was ready for the rest of the game."
Maine West, which improved to 17-0 on the season, faced a tough test from Hononegah before finally pulling away late in the third quarter.
"Hononegah is a great team," said Warriors coach Kim de Marigny, "And their (senior guard) Jordan King is a great player. You can't take anything away from them. They're well coached, and we were concerned about our intensity level coming in."
The stellar play of Jacobs and 6 first half points from Dylan Van Fleet led Maine West to a double-digit halftime advantage.
But King, who scored a game-high 26 points, led a Hononegah charge as the Lady Indians cut the deficit to 9 after intermission.
Then Warriors' 6-foot-4 junior forward Angela Dugalic asserted herself in the paint, scoring on 4 straight drives to the basket and layups to lead a 10-point West run.
"Angela is so athletic," de Marigny said. "She can play inside our outside. She prefers to play outside but she can be such a dominant player on the inside."
Dugalic, who matched teammate Jacobs with 18 points and also grabbed 12 rebounds, said that trying to keep King in check was the focal point of the Warriors defensive effort.
"King is a phenomenal player," said Dugalic. "We definitely focused on her. We knew that all around they're a good three point shooting team so our defense was key -- and offensively, we just had to get open and move the ball."
King scored 3 points early in the fourth quarter to try to lead a Hononegah rally, but two quick buckets from Maine West senior Rachel Kent (11 points) and some terrific ball movement and patience on offense from the Warriors squelched any hope of a Lady Indians' comeback.
Van Fleet finished with 10 points while senior Ellie Centella scored 5, including a clutch 3-pointer in the third quarter.
"Our defense was the key tonight," de Marigny added. "Our girls really played hard defensively."
"We started off a little shaky," Jacobs added. "We were in foul trouble but we were able to play with the same intensity that we usually play with. We come out with intensity and confidence every game."