Jakubicek's last-second dunk stuns Crystal Lake South
Frank Jakubicek likely will never make another game-winning play like the one he made Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-8 Cary-Grove senior was simply trying to not let Crystal Lake South's Casey Haskin not catch an inbound pass cleanly at midcourt. He did better than that, knocking the ball loose and slamming home a resounding two-handed dunk.
A few frenzied moments later, the Trojans had a 39-37 Fox Valley Conference boys basketball victory over the Gators at Elroy Fitzgerald Gymnasium.
"We were told to fly around and not let them get anything easy," Jakubicek said. "I was thinking to make a play, at least not let him get an easy catch, so I decided to go for it and it worked out pretty well for us."
The win puts C-G (6-1 overall, 3-0 FVC) tied for first place with Hampshire in the conference.
South (4-3, 1-2) had tied the score on Haskin's driving basket with 21 seconds remaining. C-G's Ryan Weaver missed a 3-point attempt and the Gators rebounded and called timeout with 8.9 to go.
The Trojans, with only four team fouls, fouled twice to eat up some time before putting South in the bonus with a seventh foul. The Gators had 5 seconds remaining when Brock Jewson looked to inbound to Haskin.
After Jakubicek's dunk, Weaver bumped Jewson with 1.1 second remaining, which put South into the bonus. Jewson had to wait several minutes while the clock was properly set before shooting. He missed the first shot and Damir Glamoc's tip-in attempt was short, giving C-G the win.
"Frank, that's just an incredibly talented player making a good play," C-G coach Adam McCloud said. "We needed that tonight. Our X's and O's weren't there. Frank makes that play and you think the game's over. Then you're like, 'Is there time?'"
One official confidently asked for 1.1 after the foul on Weaver.
"It was a tough spot (for Jewson), like 10 minutes between the foul and the shot," Gators coach Matt LePage said. "I'm proud of the way we competed. It was a heck of a game. It was an old-fashioned grinder, defense and rebounding."
South switched from its usual zone defense to man-to-man in the second half and held the Trojans to 6 of 22 field-goal shooting in the second half.
"We played good man because we match up nicely with them," Haskin said. "It was just a disappointing finish. You can't blame it on one play. It was the whole game leading up to it. It's missed layups, missed switches on defense, all the things leading up to that."
Beau Frericks scored 18 points and hit four 3s to lead the Trojans. Jakubicek added 12. Glamoc and Tyler Miller each scored nine for the Gators.
"They ended up playing us man and we almost looked stagnant," McCloud said. "We got into that watching game. I have to do a better job coaching these guys. I was waiting for us to kind of pull away and we couldn't. Credit to them. They played tougher than we did tonight."