Jacobs starts the season on top against Hoffman Estates

At a certain point, Jacobs senior guard Arianna Corrado was just toying with Hoffman Estates Tuesday night.

With about six minutes left in the second quarter, Jacobs lined up under Hoffman Estates' hoop to inbound the ball. Corrado took the ball out, and when a Hawks defender turned her back on Corrado, the Golden Eagles' guard decided to pass it to herself - right off of the defender's back. Corrado finished the easy layup for two.

"I tell [her] if she sees an opportunity, take it," said Jacobs coach Jonathon Reibel, "so that's what she did. And I was a little bit surprised, but I'm glad she did it because it was successful."

Corrado finished with 16 points, and her team won 48-34 in the first game of the ninth annual Pilgrim Classic hosted by Hoffman Estates High School.

"To start off with a win is great for the girls," Reibel said. "Gives us a little confidence boost to work off of, build off of."

Hoffman Estates' first three possessions of the game were pretty representative of what they were going to see from Jacobs for the remainder of the game.

The Hawks tried to get two quick jump shots off, but the Golden Eagles blocked both. On the third possession, Jacobs forced a turnover. At the end of the game, Hoffman Estates had 9 turnovers in their backcourt alone.

It was going to be difficult for Hoffman Estates to score Tuesday night.

"We want to use athleticism this year and extend the floor a little bit," Reibel said. "Try to get some easy buckets, deflections, steals, things like that ... we don't rely on a half court game."

Corrado partnered the team's full-court press with 10 of her team's first 12 points. Throughout the remainder of the game, she was aided by sophomore guard Mikayla Weel who finished with 13 points (despite leaving the fourth quarter with an apparent leg injury), with most of her buckets coming from fastbreaks off of turnovers.

Jacobs controlled the game, but the Golden Eagles let Hoffman Estates back into the game at times with fouls.

At one point in the first half, fouls were 10-3 in favor (or unfavor) of Jacobs. Still, the Golden Eagles held a 9-point halftime lead. And the lead would remain around that number for the rest of the game.

The Hawks cut it to seven points a couple of times in the third, and they even brought it down to six with a Paige Hocking 3-pointer, but Jacobs' pace was too much to handle for Hoffman Estates.

Reibel said that his team is trying to figure out their identity in the beginning of the season here, but Tuesday showed that they've got some speed on their side.

"I was very happy with how they found easy buckets in transition," he said, "so it's something that we're gonna keep going with."

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