McHENRY – Jacobs’ Ella Tamburrino made only one shot in Tuesday’s Fox Valley Conference game against McHenry.
It was a big one.
After missing on a 3-point attempt at the top of the key on the Golden Eagles’ previous possession, the senior guard took another shot and hit one from almost the same spot, giving her team a two-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
[ Photos: McHenry vs. Jacobs girls basketball ]
Jacobs’ zone defense held McHenry to only one field goal in the fourth, and the Eagles padded their lead on offense. Jacobs went on to beat McHenry, 45-36, improving to 4-5 overall and 2-1 in the FVC. The Eagles’ two FVC wins already are more than they had during the COVID-19-shortened season.
“It’s the best start that we’ve had at Jacobs in a long time,” Jacobs coach Jonny Reibel said. “It’s great for them. I’m happy they get to experience back-to-back wins because one of their goals was to win two in a row, and they got to achieve that tonight. They’re starting to find their identity, and they’re doing a good job with it.”
Tamburrino’s 3 came moments after two made free throws by Mackenzie Leahy cut McHenry’s lead to 34-33.
Reibel said players and coaches have been encouraging Tamburrino to take more shots. He’s happy she took the advice.
“I just have to keep my head up, come back, keep working and hit the next one,” said Tamburrino, who missed her first five shots of the game, including three in the third. “I know my team will always be there for me. I think that gave us a lot of confidence after we missed a few times and had some messy possessions. It gave us the confidence to finish the game.”
Jacobs went on to outscore McHenry, 9-2, in the fourth quarter.
A steal and layup by sophomore Ana Gerstung with 1:52 to go was the first and only bucket for the Warriors in the fourth. Their previous field goal was a 3-pointer by Emerson Gasmann with 4:45 left in the third. McHenry scored only six points over the final 12:45.
Reibel said the Eagles did a good job of tightening up their defense in the fourth.
“We did a lot of good things tonight,” Reibel said. “A lot of them try to make steals, they try to make blocks, but sometimes it’s just positioning and putting yourself between the ball and the basket. ... They weren’t overdoing things. They were just there and made it hard for [McHenry] to get in the lane and get good shots.”
Leahy led all scorers with 19 points, 10 rebounds and five steals. Janaya Banks had nine and Leslie Argomaniz chipped in five off the bench. Janae Gillus and Bridget Grady each had four points.
Gasmann led the Warriors with 11 points and three 3s, while Ana Gerstung had 10 points and five rebounds and Lynette Alsot had eight points and eight rebounds. Franklin had 12 rebounds.
“I’m not mad about the effort, the effort was great,” Warriors coach Rob Niemic said. “We played hard, that’s all I can ask of them. But when you score two points in the fourth quarter, you’re probably not going to win any ball games. Give credit to Jacobs. They executed in the end and won the fourth quarter. You’ve got to put the ball in the hoop.”
Leahy was coming off a 37-point performance against Larkin on Saturday. She said her team’s promising start has been a lot of fun.
“It’s not something we’re really used to,” Leahy said. “We want to finish above .500 and beat the teams we haven’t been able to beat [in the past] like Dundee-Crown and Hampshire. This has been a really fun start.”