ALGONQUIN – Jacobs senior Kerri Healy had never beaten Huntley. In fact, none of her Golden Eagles teammates had.
Healy and Jacobs finally broke through on Friday, edging the Red Raiders, 44-42, at the Eagles' Nest in their Fox Valley Conference girls basketball game.
Jacobs (2-4 overall, 1-1 FVC) last defeated Huntley on Jan. 27, 2012. The Raiders, who shared the FVC title with three teams last season, have won the conference championship four straight years.
"It was incredible," said sophomore guard Courtney Pahl, who scored eight of her 10 points for Jacobs in the third quarter, making a pair of 3s. "We haven't beaten them in five years. We just came in, and we really worked at it today. I know my teammates are proud of what we did, and it's just an incredible feeling."
It was the Jacobs defense that sealed the victory, holding the Raiders (1-4, 0-1) scoreless on their final three possessions after Huntley sophomore guard Anna Seng (six points) sank a 3-pointer with 1:30 remaining, cutting the Eagles' lead to 44-42.
"Defense is always our main focus," said Healy, who led the Eagles with 12 points and nine rebounds. "I think that our defense will help create our offense, so that's what we focus on."
Jacobs sophomore guard Liz Schwartz, who played on varsity as a freshman, helped keep the Eagles in the lead in the fourth quarter, converting a tough shot underneath the hoop with 4:21 remaining to give her team a 40-34 lead.
Huntley's Mallory Moffett later made a 3, followed by a rebound and two foul shots by Kamsi Nwogu, cutting the Eagles' advantage to 42-39. Schwartz was fouled with 1:53 left and made both of her free throws to put Jacobs back up, 44-39.
"We were definitely focused on slowing [Huntley] down, slowing down our offense, and longer possessions," said Schwartz, who also finished in double figures with 10 points. "It feels good. It's been a long time since we beat them, so it feels really good, especially on our home floor."
After the Eagles built their biggest lead on a 12-foot jump shot by Courtney Durben (six points, four assists) and a layup by Healy, giving Jacobs a 37-26 lead with 6:30 left, Huntley stormed back on an 8-1 run.
Freshman Briana Bower supplied Huntley with a game-high 15 points and four 3s, including five points in the fourth, while Seng had five points and Moffett added four over the final six minutes.
Huntley had three chances to tie the game or take the lead in the final 1:30 but was able to get off only one shot. Freshman Raquel Radermacher, one of nine Raiders getting her first varsity experience this season, added nine points, and stepped out of bounds on the baseline with 1.9 seconds left as she was making a move to the basket.
Huntley made only 9 of 20 free throws, while Jacobs converted 11 of 17 free throws.
"Some of the things throughout the course of the game didn't put us in position to win the game," Huntley coach Steve Raethz said. "Whether that was missed free throws or empty possessions in the first half. But I was really proud of their effort and what they were able to do in that fourth quarter. I thought we played with much more purpose, and we had a lot of people stepping up."
STAR OF THE GAME
Jacobs, sr., F
Healy led the Golden Eagles with 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting and two 3-pointers. She hauled in nine rebounds and also blocked a shot.
14: Total number of underclassmen on Jacobs' and Huntley's rosters
AND ANOTHER THING …
Before Friday, Jacobs last defeated Huntley, 60-50, on Jan. 27, 2012.
Jacobs 44, Huntley 42
Huntley 5 9 11 17 – 42
Jacobs 11 7 15 11 – 44
Bower 4 3-4 15, Bigden 0 1-2 1, Moffett 1 1-2 4, Nwogu 1 3-6 5, Radermacher 4 0-1 9, Seng 2 1-2 6, Wash 1 0-3 2. Totals: 13 9-20 42.
Durben 2 1-2 6, Pahl 3 2-2 10, Valldejuli 1 0-2 2, Schwartz 3 4-5 10, Healy 4 2-4 12, Garden 1 2-2 4. Totals: 14 11-17 44.
3-point goals: Huntley 7 (Bower 4, Moffett, Radermacher, Seng), Jacobs 5 (Pahl 2, Healy 2, Durben). Total fouls: Huntley 18, Jacobs 17.