Jacobs boys rally, fall short at Barrington
BARRINGTON – Other than the final score, Chrishawn Orange couldn't find much fault with the finish.
The start, however, was a different story.
The Jacobs boys basketball team fell into a familiar pattern Saturday night against Barrington, once again struggling with a lackadaisical effort early on. Although the Golden Eagles put up a fight down the stretch, they were unable to completely overcome the deficit they battled to erase all night in a 55-52 nonconference loss.
Jacobs (5-6) trailed by as many as 17 points in the second quarter but was down by only one with less than two minutes to play. But that was as close as the Golden Eagles could get before the Broncos (9-8) did just enough in the end to hold on for their fifth straight win.
"That's something that's going to have to change," said Orange, who scored 11 points in the loss. "To be down and to have to keep fighting back – that's a reoccurring theme that needs to change.
"But we did show a lot of toughness."
The Golden Eagles trailed by double figures throughout the first half when Barrington used a 14-0 run to create a comfortable cushion. But an Orange three-point play early in the second half sparked Jacobs, which eventually got to within four points when Kenton Mack (13 points) connected on a 3-point field goal with 59 seconds left in the third quarter.
Jacobs continued to push despite falling behind by nine points early in the fourth quarter. But as they had throughout the quarter before, the Golden Eagles rallied behind Mack and Orange.
Orange got the Golden Eagles to within 44-42 on a short leaner with 3:55 remaining before closing the gap to one by splitting a pair of free throws 30 seconds later. But as it had throughout the night, Barrington fed off a game-high 24 points by 6-foot-8 sophomore forward Rapolas Ivanauskas.
Ivanauskas pushed the lead back to three points with a pair of free throws before blocking a shot on Jacobs' next possession that allowed the Broncos to again add to its lead.
Jacobs couldn't respond for a third time, done in again by a slow start.
"I don't think it was a lack of playing hard," Mack said. "It was just mental breakdowns – we weren't mentally sharp in the first half."
First-year Jacobs coach Jim Roberts will file the loss under the category of lesson learned. Roberts had warned his team that against a team like Barrington, the Golden Eagles couldn't afford any letdowns from the start.
But that's what Jacobs produced, again forced to swallow another close loss in which a late surge wasn't quite enough.
"It's kind of a lesson in competitiveness and toughness and being ready to play," Roberts said. "If you're not ready to play, you're going to get smacked in the mouth and I think that's what happened."