Byline: Steve Nichols firstname.lastname@example.org By Steve Nichols email@example.com
Slow first quarter. Menacing defense in the second. Olivia Jakubicek in the third and fourth.
It's not how Cary-Grove is starting games, but as the game progresses, the Trojans are proving why it's really how you finish.
They won with that style against Huntley over a week ago and the Trojans repeated that process against a quality opponent in Stevenson
Cary-Grove survived a 3-point first quarter, allowed Stevenson 3 points on 1 basket in the second quarter and figured out the Patriot defense in the second half, which paved the way for Jakubicek to re-establish herself on the block. Her 12 points in the final 16 minutes gave her a game-high 19 to go along with 14 rebounds in Cary-Grove's 39-28 nonconference win over the Patriots in Cary Wednesday night.
The Trojans (16-6) pushed their win streak to 7, whereas Stevenson's streak ended at 5.
"I don't know if it's just us," Trojans coach Rod Saffert said. "It takes us a little while to get going. I do think its part of the conditioning we've done for months. When we get to that third quarter, we seem to wear some teams down. It really seems to affect them and it helps us."
Both teams looked sluggish during the first half, and the numbers were a bit shocking for two well-oiled machines. Cary-Grove led 15-11 at the half, but turnovers by both exceeded the score. Cary-Grove turned the ball over 12 times on 6 of 23 shooting whereas Stevenson (14-8) coughed it up 15 times while making just 4 of 13 from the field, including just 1 shot on 3 attempts in the second quarter. Both teams ran all sorts of defenses at each other, but what did Cary-Grove change up in the second half to establish Jakubicek down low?
"We started recognizing what defense they were in," said Jakubicek. …