Hersey's adjustment keys win at Jacobs
Hersey boys basketball coach Austin Scott threw the basketball equivalent of a curveball at Jacobs late in a 61-55 nonconference win in Algonquin Wednesday.
After playing man-to-man defense throughout a game that saw 15 lead changes, the Huskies switched to a 1-3-1 zone trap.
Jacobs did not score for a five-minute, 25-second stretch during which Hersey sealed the win with a 10-0 run.
"They were scoring a lot on us in man so coach said let's switch it up," Hersey senior Jace Coffaro said. "They weren't ready for a zone that late in the game. I feel like we played it hard. We were deflecting passes, we were getting to loose balls. I feel like it did confuse them."
The Huskies had practiced the zone scheme but Wednesday was the first time they used it in a game.
"It ended up working so we might use it," Hersey senior guard Matt Hanushewsky said. "I don't think they scored."
Jacobs did finally score against the zone when junior Jaden Henderson sank his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 18 seconds left to finish with a team-best 17 points.
Jacobs coach Jimmy Roberts said he told his team at halftime something would likely give considering both teams shot 6-of-8 from 3-point range in the first half. Jacobs blinked first. The Golden Eagles had open 3-point attempts when they trailed by 2 points with 2:28 left and by 4 points with 1:08 remaining and were unable to hit either.
"Just a bad job by us executing. Period," Roberts said. "We turned it over once. We did get a couple of looks when it was close, but we didn't make shots."
Offensively, Hersey (14-12), which lost 48-38 at Notre Dame in Niles on Tuesday, found different ways to score down the stretch. After Jacobs junior guard Andrew Balkcom scored in a drive to give his team its final lead at 52-50 with 5:43 left in the game, Hanushewsky countered immediately with a transition layup for a three-point play. After he split 2 free throws, Coffaro made a strong move to the basket to establish a 4-point lead with 1:30 to play.
"I just used a jump stop to get position and was able to score," Coffaro said.
Hanushewsky made Jacobs (11-15) pay for a missed 3-pointer by driving baseline for a 58-52 lead with 40 seconds left. The Huskies sank free throws thereafter.
"Jacobs is a really good team that defends tremendously," Scott said. "They gave us everything we could handle. These last two days have been a great test for us."
Rocco Ronzio sank four 3-pointer en route to a game-high 18 points and Hanushewsky finished with 15 points for Hersey.
Balkcom scored 14 points for Jacobs.