ALGONQUIN – Holding a lead for an opponent to challenge in the fourth quarter is not something with which Jacobs girls basketball team is accustomed.
Yet facing that situation Tuesday night at the Eagles’ Nest against Dundee-Crown, Jacobs passed the test without much trouble.
D-C cut Jacobs’ lead to one late in the third quarter, but the Golden Eagles answered with a 10-point run and picked up their second win of the season, 43-35, in a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division game of District 300 rivals.
The game was played before the boys varsity game, so the girls finished with a crowd larger than normal.
“It was an intense atmosphere and we’re going up against girls we know,” Jacobs guard Payton Berg said. “Our hard work is paying off. This definitely boosts our confidence as we head into the second round of division games.”
Sophomore Lauren Van Vlierbergen hit a 3-pointer to close the third quarter with a 27-23 lead. Van Vlierbergen made two free throws to open the fourth, then Berg hit a short jumper and nailed a 3 for a 34-23 lead.
“We worked things out and calmed down [after leading 24-23],” Berg said. “I felt really good and was confident to take that 3.”
Jacobs (2-20 overall, 2-5 FVC Valley) has both its win against D-C. Eagles coach Joe Benoit thought the three-quarter court pressure that helped produce 25 D-C turnovers was crucial.
“Our pressure defense really got it done for us,” he said. “But give credit to Crown, they didn’t go away. They kept coming.”
Van Vlierbergen added 10 points for the Eagles, including the big 3 which came right after D-C freshman Melissa Barker hit a 3 to make it 24-23.
“We just really wanted it,” said Eagles forward Tori Tamburrino, who scored eight points. “This feels really good because we’ve worked hard in practice.”
Benoit credits his team for not getting down despite its record.
“We’ve really been preaching about believing in ourselves and good things will happen if we do that,” he said.
D-C (2-13, 0-6) got eight points from Jillian Weichmann and seven from Emilie Michalski.
“We play with a lot of effort, we just need to play a little smarter sometimes,” Chargers coach Michelle Russell said. “We have a lot of young girls and it was an intense game, they did a good job.”
D-C managed to cut the lead to 40-35 on freshman Frankie Cavallaro’s 15-footer with 42 seconds remaining. Jacobs made 3 of 4 free throws in the last 35 seconds.