South Elgin turns up defensive pressure in second half for win

SHARE South Elgin turns up defensive pressure in second half for win

If South Elgin needed to be reminded Tuesday about Jacobs’ ability to hit three-pointers, the Golden Eagles were only glad to deliver a refresher course in the first half of their Jacobs Class 4A Regional semifinal game.

After five different Golden Eagles hit six first-half treys and took a 29-28 halftime lead over the tournament’s top seeds, the Storm responded with in-your-face defense and took complete control for a 64-48 victory and a berth in Thursday’s 7 p.m. title game against Streamwood.

“I was a little upset with our kids at halftime,” South Elgin coach Tim Prendergast said. “I felt like we got outhustled for loose balls.

“I said (at halfitme) if this keeps up, we’re not going to have practice tomorrow. We’re going to be knocked off by these guys. The big thing for us was coming out in the third quarter strong — I mean, really strong.”

After Alyssa Lach had hit two three-pointers in the first half and Jennifer Barnec, Nicole Cook, Glenita Williams and Jessica Powell one each for Jacobs, the faucet was turned off by Storm pressure.

Two turnovers caused by Anna Tracy led to a Kennede Miller three-pointer and a Savanah Uveges fast break layup and a 33-29 South Elgin lead. It started a run of 14 straight South Elgin points in the first three minutes of the third quarter and the Storm just kept coming, outscoring Jacobs 22-5 for the quarter to take an insurmountable 50-34 lead.

“In the second half we really strapped down on defense and got down to rebounding — just the basic fundamentals that we normally do,” Miller said. “They’re all pretty good shooters, so we had to change our mentality on defense and get up more in their faces.”

South Elgin turned eight Jacobs turnovers into 16 points in the quarter and for the game had 26 offensive rebounds while outrebounding the Golden Eagles 48-30.

“Our press was a big part of it,” said Uveges, who finished with a team-high 17 points and nine rebounds. “We just came out with a lot of energy and our whole bench is what I feel like sparked us because once we did anything they were yelling and screaming.

“It kind of sparked us to get more steals and putbacks.”

Miller had 13 points and Nadia Yang and Tracy seven each for the Storm (19-9). Jacobs (8-20) had 12 points from Lach and nine from Barnec.

“I’m so proud of our kids from battling to win our first regional game in five years last night (over Larkin) to almost tripling our wins from a year ago,” Jacobs coach Joe Benoit said. “Our seniors tonight battled. How about Alyssa Lach? Three charges (taken).

“We’ve kind of been an underdog all season long. We’ve played really good competition and it’s prepared us for this moment tonight.

“I thought our kids executed the game plan perfectly but obviously we had problems with their pressure.”

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