CARPENTERSVILLE – Jacobs guard Kenton Mack, who has a reputation as a dogged defender, demonstrated an impressive offensive repertoire as well Tuesday night at Dundee-Crown.
The 6-foot-1 Golden Eagles junior wriggled inside for tip-ins, knifed through the lane for layups, pulled up for mid-range jumpers and stepped back to swish 3-pointers.
“Kenton’s a real smart kid, he’s a thinker,” Jacobs coach Jimmy Roberts said. “He thinks his way through the game, but sometimes he just needs to go play, use his ability and go play. That’s the Kenton we know, and the Kenton that Kenton knows as well. It’s just a matter of getting it out of him a little bit.”
Mack led an early outburst as Jacobs jumped all over D-C and rolled to a 54-34 Fox Valley Conference Valley Division boys basketball victory as the District 300 rivals played in front of a near-packed D-C gymnasium.
“We were focused from the time we left school and everyone was in the right mental mindset to come out and play hard,” said Mack, whose first two baskets sparked an 8-0 start. “We executed well and we were taking good shots. Us taking good shots led to us making shots.”
Mack said he had been in an offensive slump, but he was 7 of 8 from the field for 16 points, following his only miss with his own tip-in. Jacobs guard Chrishawn Orange led all players with 17 points at Jacobs (14-13 overall, 8-4 FVC Valley) finished in sole possession of second place in the division.
Freshman forward Cameron Krutwig added seven points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, seven in the first half. Jacobs led D-C (7-17, 3-9) in rebounding, 27-18.
“The atmosphere was real good, they brought a lot of fans and we brought a lot of fans,” Krutwig said. “We just got hot really quick, knocking down shots left and right. We knew it was going to be a good atmosphere for this game.”
Jacobs jumped to a 16-2 lead and when the Chargers scored six consecutive points, the Eagles came back with seven unanswered points of their own.
“They deserved to win, they just had an answer for everything,” Chargers coach Lance Huber said. “They really took it to us. They played really, really well tonight. It might be the best game I’ve seen them play all year. They stuck it to us early and we never bounced back.”
The closest D-C got in the second half was 13 points. Jacobs has allowed 104 points in its last three games.
“Before we came, we watched the beginning of the first time we played them, it was the same start,” Roberts said. “We know we’re going to defend, so we said, ‘Let’s score, let’s make some shots, go at them, be the aggressors. The kids did a good job right off the bat.”
Cordero Parson led D-C with 10 points, while Kiwaun Seals and Malik Dunner added nine apiece.