Buffalo Grove's defense shuts down Jacobs

  • Jacobs' Elizabeth Tamburrino (5) breaks up a pass intended for Buffalo Grove's Kim Stuercke (30) during Wednesday's girls basketball game in Buffalo Grove.

    Jacobs' Elizabeth Tamburrino (5) breaks up a pass intended for Buffalo Grove's Kim Stuercke (30) during Wednesday's girls basketball game in Buffalo Grove. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Buffalo Grove's Leah McKenna (11) grabs for the rebound with Jacobs' Janaya Banks (15) during Wednesday's girls basketball game in Buffalo Grove.

    Buffalo Grove's Leah McKenna (11) grabs for the rebound with Jacobs' Janaya Banks (15) during Wednesday's girls basketball game in Buffalo Grove. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Jacobs' Mackenzie Leahy (30) looks to pass around Buffalo Grove's Leah McKenna (11) and Kim Stuercke (30) during Wednesday's girls basketball game in Buffalo Grove.

    Jacobs' Mackenzie Leahy (30) looks to pass around Buffalo Grove's Leah McKenna (11) and Kim Stuercke (30) during Wednesday's girls basketball game in Buffalo Grove. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Jacobs' Bridget Grady (12) pass around Buffalo Grove's Hanna Glanz (13) and Olivia Genthner (20) during Wednesday's girls basketball game in Buffalo Grove.

    Jacobs' Bridget Grady (12) pass around Buffalo Grove's Hanna Glanz (13) and Olivia Genthner (20) during Wednesday's girls basketball game in Buffalo Grove. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Buffalo Grove's Abby Thiessen (1) drives on Jacobs' Janae Gillus (20) during Wednesday's girls basketball game in Buffalo Grove.

    Buffalo Grove's Abby Thiessen (1) drives on Jacobs' Janae Gillus (20) during Wednesday's girls basketball game in Buffalo Grove. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Buffalo Grove's Leah McKenna (11) pressures Jacobs' Janaya Banks (15) during Wednesday's girls basketball game in Buffalo Grove.

    Buffalo Grove's Leah McKenna (11) pressures Jacobs' Janaya Banks (15) during Wednesday's girls basketball game in Buffalo Grove. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
By Bill McLean
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/1/2021 10:35 PM

You don't get assists on defense in basketball.

But don't tell that to Buffalo Grove girls basketball coach Martha Kelly. She practically wanted to invent a hoops statistic -- let's call it an 'S.O.S' number, for fun -- after BG's 43-31 nonconference defeat of visiting Jacobs on Wednesday night.

 

"Our help defense was fantastic," Kelly said. "We had two, sometimes three, girls doing all they could to assist their teammates on defense all night.

"Grace Veller, what a tremendous job she did on (Jacobs' fine 5-foot-8 junior guard, Mackenzie Leahy)," the coach added, referring to her reserve 5-6 guard. "Grace is such a great athlete, who brought energy tonight. Our whole team did."

Veller -- who happened to have statistics homework Wednesday night -- scored only 2 points, but her 2 deflections caused 2 turnovers in the second quarter, and four of her mates (Leah McKenna, Abby Thiessen, Hanna Glanz and Kim Stuercke) each had a steal in the frame.

BG (3-5) limited Jacobs to 3 points in the quarter, led 26-12 at the half and enjoyed its biggest lead (32-13) at the 3:32 mark of the third quarter.

"I stayed on (Leahy's hip) as best as I could," Veller, a three-sport athlete, said. "Communication is important on defense; we never stopped talking. We also never stopped helping where we were needed."

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McKenna, No. 11 on BG's roster, had a marvelous "match" game, finishing with 11 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter, when Jacobs (2-4) used an 8-0 run to pare the hosts' lead to 37-28 at 1:52. The effort upped McKenna's double-double total to two this winter; she came down with a season-high 13 boards in her first double-double, against Palatine last month.

"Leah," Veller said of her economics class classmate, "is always going up for us. You can always count on her."

BG's Stuercke, a 5-11 senior, tied McKenna for game-high scoring honors with 11 points; 6-foot Bison senior Cassidy Green struck for 9 points and had 7 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Leahy and senior forward Janaya Banks paced the Golden Eagles with 9 points apiece. Banks grabbed a team-best 8 boards, with Leahy and junior guard Arianna Corrado (5 points) right behind her with 7 each.

Golden Eagles junior guard Anelise Rodriguez collected a game-high 4 steals in a highly physical contest. The squads combined for 57 floor burns, at least.

"We challenged our players at the half to find ways to stay competitive," said Jacobs coach Jon Reibel, who played hoops at Hoffman Estates in the early 2000s. "We told them, 'Let's get back out there and make it a game,' which we did. Which I really liked.

"Instead of folding, we got back in it. We need that kind of effort every quarter."

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