Schaumburg gets past Cary-Grove
Schaumburg boys basketball coach Wade Heisler had no problem admitting there was absolutely nothing pretty about the Saxons' 41-34 road win over Cary-Grove Wednesday.
But in a nonconference game he right away described as, "ugly," there was one thing that did shine and fortunately for Heisler and the Saxons, it was that defense they take pride in.
"They're a really good offensive rebounding team and we struggled to make some shots and that can lead to an ugly game," said Heisler, whose team lost the rebounding edge 26-11. "But I thought our kids battled defensively and that's what we hang our hats on."
That defensive mentality proved huge for the Saxons (2-4), who decisively held the previously undefeated Trojans (3-1) to 44.1 percent shooting overall on just 34 shots. The Trojans managed just 14 second half points, finished with 24 total turnovers and had no flow to their offense dependent on ball movement.
"We just said defense is going to win this game for us," said Schaumburg guard Heze Trotter, who scored a team-high 17 points and provided 3 steals. "We came out, put some pressure on them, got a couple steals and easy buckets and once that happens the bucket starts looking big for everybody."
The Saxons, who struggled as well offensively and managed just a 37.5 percent clip from the field in the first half and just a 2-point halftime lead, saw that bucket expand when defense led to offense in the third. Trotter triggered a big sequence late in the third when he stole a Cary-Grove lob and converted it for a layup and a 28-24 Saxons lead with 3:15 left. On Schaumburg's next possession Trotter, off another turnover, drained a 3 with 2:48 left for a 31-24 lead, which was the difference of the game at that point.
"We started the game with three turnovers and we started the second half with three turnovers," C-G coach Adam McCloud said. "You really want to get those for momentum and when you don't it slows the game down."
Just when Cary-Grove was about to climb back into it early in the fourth, Jerry Clark's right wing 3 with 6:22 left gave the Saxons a 39-30 lead, the biggest of the night. Clark finished with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals while Cary-Grove managed just 4 points after his shot. It offset a huge night for sophomore reserve Frank Jakubieck, who poured in 17 points off the bench, which included 8 rebounds and 4 on the offensive glass. Jakubicek came in right away with 3 putbacks in the first quarter and helped the Trojans score 22 points in the paint, whereas the starters accounted for just 15 points.
"He's pretty special," McCloud said. "His size ... he finishes really well. He came in and knocked a three when we needed it and he's someone we're counting on going forward. Every time he's on the floor he's just gaining minutes."