Jacobs sneaks by Palatine
Jacobs' boys basketball team was able to keep the traffic light stuck on red Tuesday night in Palatine.
The Golden Eagles came up with a trio of key stops, including one at the buzzer, to hold off Palatine 44-42 at the Ed Molitor Thanksgiving Classic.
"I told our guys in the locker room after the game that it is like old times to get stops to win games," Jacobs coach Jimmy Roberts said. "Those are big-time toughness."
Palatine had three opportunities to send the game into overtime in the final minute.
Jacobs stopped the Pirates the first time after good defense forced a missed shot. Palatine then got the ball right back with just over 22 seconds left as Eric Lambke forced a turnover.
Palatine tried to get the ball into 6-foot-7 Julian Campbell, but the Golden Eagles kept the ball on the perimeter and nearly forced a turnover.
After a timeout, Palatine looked to Tommy Swanson, who had nailed four 3-pointers. Jacobs' Jaden Henderson blanketed Swanson, forcing the Pirates to look for another option.
"I had to sit on him because he was a shooter," said Henderson, who also had a huge game offensively, finishing with 22 points including all 8 of Jacobs' points in the fourth quarter.
"He was their only option at the time and I had to take him out of the game."
The Pirates then went to Campbell, who had to go off the block thanks to Max Stec. Campbell's shot just missed to preserve the win.
"It is a tough, physical fight," said Stec, who along with Matt Lodi drew the job of slowing down Campbell.
"It is hard to play against a guy that big. I was pushing up against him at the end. His shot looked liked it was going to go in, so I was a little nervous, but it just missed."
Roberts said that this year's team has already differentiated itself from last year's team with its ability to get defensive stops when it needs them.
"That says a lot about our guys and our growth from last year," Roberts said. "We were up and down last year. We had a lot of youth last year, so there was volatility. That was good to see that we have made some strides from last year."
Jacobs looked like it was going to take a huge stride when the Golden Eagles raced out to a 15-5 lead after one period.
Palatine roared back thanks to the inside play of Campbell, who would finish with 17 points and 10 rebounds. With the Eagles sagging on Campbell, it opened up the outside shooting for Swanson, who would finish with 17 points.
"It was a typical first game," Palatine coach Eric Millstone said. "The hearts were in the right spot but the execution wasn't. After we settled into the pace of the game, I thought we responded well. This game is definitely going to makes us better."