Jacobs downs Hampshire for 8th straight win
Few teams are having more fun than Jacobs right now.
The Golden Eagles hardly resemble the team that was 3-10 after losing their first game at their own Hinkle Holiday Classic, because they have not lost since.
"Coach (Jimmy Roberts) always talks about cracking the code for winning," guard Jackson Martucci said. "And it's all about our confidence. If we make a mistake, we learn from it and don't get down on ourselves about it."
Jacobs used that mindset against Hampshire on Tuesday night and brushed a ragged first half, one with 10 turnovers, aside in the second and pulled away from the Whip-Purs for a 56-42 Fox Valley Conference win in boys basketball.
The Eagles (11-10, 5-4 FVC) have the area's longest winning streak at eight games.
"Once we won a few at the Hinkle Holiday Tournament it got us some confidence and we're playing as a team," guard Brett Schlicker said. "We're all able to play off of each other, have fun doing it and play with some toughness and confidence."
Roberts likes that his team is winning even when it does not play at the highest level.
"You don't always bring your best, but you still have that formula of what it takes to win," Roberts said. "What travels? What travels, is every game is your preparation, your being ready to go, guarding and being sound defensively.
"Tonight, we played OK offensively, we hit some big shots, but we held them to 42 points. Defensively, our fight and resolve were consistent with what we've been doing lately."
Schlicker led the Eagles with 15 points, Martucci had 13 and Ben Jurzak had 12. Jacobs hit 16 of 29 field goals for 55.2%.
The Whip-Purs were still close at 36-33 after three quarters, but Jacobs pulled away in the fourth. Jurzak converted a three-point play and Martucci hit his third 3-pointer, then the Eagles took advantage of the double-bonus free throws for the last 4:12.
"We saw quit in them," Martucci said of the fourth quarter. "After we hit a couple shots, they stopped talking to each other on defense, stopped playing their game and we took complete advantage of that."
Emann Thomas added nine points on 9 of 12 free-throw shooting for the Eagles. He scored seven in the second half.
"We knew this was a winnable game and we're on a streak, just coming in ready to play and try to wear them down quickly, make some shots and play hard defense," Schlicker said.
Bailey Woods led Hampshire with eight points. Whips coach Mike Featherly was displeased with his team's effort in the second half.
"We were mentally weak that game. We did not play with the right mindset," Featherly said. "The pressure got to us and we kind of crumbled.
"We're only down five and it felt like the end of the world. We have to get over that mentality of 'Here it goes again.' We played the same game the last three games in a row where we cut the lead, get close, and then can't get over that hump. We have to be mentally stronger, it's as simple as that."