Crystal Lake Central coach Paul Lichtenheld simply couldn’t devise a defense to stop Cary-Grove senior Olivia Jakubicek.
Jakubicek’s 19 points and 13 rebounds were enough to produce a 47-24 win for the top-seeded Trojans over No. 5 seed Crystal Lake Central in semifinal action of the Class 4A Crystal Lake South girls basketball regional Wednesday night.
The Trojans (22-6), winners of 13 straight, advance to the regional title game at 7:30 p.m. Friday to face No. 2 seed CL South, which held off Prairie Ridge in Wednesday’s second semifinal 42-36. The Trojans, who are seeking their fourth straight regional title, split their games with South this season. Friday’s winner will move on to next week’s Rockford East sectional to face either Streamwood or South Elgin.
Jakubicek, who scored all 7 of her team’s points in the first quarter, connected on 8-of-10 shots from the field.
“We put our best defensive player, Evelyn Youel, on Jakubicek, but Evelyn isn’t physically strong enough to guard her,” said Lichtenheld. “Olivia is a very good athlete and she was a mismatch. She is a complete player.”
Jakubicek was happy to get the first regional game out of the way.
“That first regional game is always nerve-racking,” she said. “We had good focus and my teammates did a good job of getting me the ball in good position to score.”
Cary-Grove coach Rod Saffert wasn’t surprised by Jakubicek’s effort.
“It’s Olivia being Olivia,” said the Cary-Grove coach. “She is so consistent and she was in good rhythm tonight.”
The Trojans also got a solid effort from sophomore guard Katie Barker, who missed the entire 2012 portion of the season with a knee injury. Barker canned a pair of 3-pointers in scoring 10 points.
With the sophomore guard in the lineup, the Trojans are 12-0.
“It was hard to watch during the first part of the season,” said Barker. “My knee hurts all the time, but I have to play through it and ice it after every game.”
Holding a slim 7-5 lead after 8 minutes, the Trojans took control of the game in the second quarter. With Cary-Grove holding a 13-9 advantage, the Trojans scored 12 points in a row to take a 25-9 lead with 1:12 left in the first half. Kylie Smith came off the bench to nail a pair of 3-pointers and Jakubicek scored 6 points as the Trojans built up a 16-point advantage.
Cary-Grove’s biggest lead was 43-19 after a 15-footer by Abby Jakubicek with 40 seconds left in the game.
The Trojans’ defense totally stifled Central (13-16), holding the Tigers to 9 of 30 shooting. Kelsey Schmitt paced the Tigers with 8 points.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.