ALGONQUIN – Jacobs point guard Chrishawn Orange plays with a willingness to get others involved, but also with a sense of when to take control himself.
The fourth quarter Tuesday night against Cary-Grove at the Eagles’ Nest was one of those times.
Orange, a 6-foot-1 junior, scored all his team’s 10 points in the fourth quarter. Twice in the final 15 seconds, both times with Jacobs clinging to a two-point lead, Orange stepped to the free-throw line and swished a pair of shots.
“It felt good to give my team the lead if we needed it,” Orange said. “I was just trying to do what I can to win.”
Orange finished with a game-high 24 points as the Golden Eagles held off C-G, 47-43, in their Fox Valley Conference Valley Division boys basketball game. The victory means Jacobs (9-9 overall, 3-1 FVC Valley) will play for a share of first place Friday at Huntley (11-4, 4-0).
“[Orange] was very good, but he’s climbing,” Jacobs coach Jimmy Roberts said. “He had 30 against Rockford Auburn [Saturday], who may have the best guards we’ve played, better than Larkin’s. At the start of the season, he missed a few and he knows it. That shows the competitor and tough kid he is to come back and get it done. He made four free throws down the stretch. He misses one of those, we could be down.”
C-G (10-8, 3-2) managed to make it close without a big game from leading scorer Jason Gregoire, who is averaging 19.5 points a game, but finished with nine because of the defensive work of Ben Murray and some foul trouble.
“[Gregoire] is a huge part of everything that goes on in their offense,” Roberts said. “Ben’s up for the task. If we put somebody else on [Gregoire] Ben might punch me. Ben didn’t score a point and he’s probably the happiest guy on our team.”
Murray said the coaches told him they were keeping tallies of how many times Gregoire, a 6-3 junior, caught the ball and that number better be low.
“I tried to run with him and stay with him and not give him any good shots,” said Murray, who also drew a pair of charges against Gregoire. “You can’t take any second off. You have to be on him the whole time.”
Gregoire still helped the Trojans rally late in the game with six points in the final 3:31. C-G cut the lead to 43-41 and had three chances to tie or take the lead, but could not make a shot.
“We fought harder in the second half,” Trojans coach Ralph Schuetzle said. “We fought and scrapped. All we can ask is we had three chances there to take the lead. Just one more play, one more play.”
Jacobs, playing for the fifth time in four days, got 14 of its 18 second-half points from Orange. The Eagles also basically played without starting guard Kenton Mack, who suffered a bruised tailbone in Monday’s game against DeKalb and played only a few minutes. Mack could not even sit on the bench, instead standing behind the bench and encouraging his teammates.
Orange was fouled with 15 seconds to go and hit both ends of a bonus free-throw situation. Gregoire was fouled with 5.4 seconds remaining and also hit two free throws.
After a timeout, the Eagles inbounded the ball to Orange, who was fouled and hit two more free throws with 3.1 to go. He was 13 of 14 at the line for the game.
“We gave him the ball and he did what he had to and got us the win,” Murray said.
Cory Boeckh scored 11 points with three 3-pointers in the second quarter. C-G was led Tyler Szydlo with 11 points and Michael Coleman came off the bench for nine.