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Jacobs tournament roundup
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Published: 12/22/2009 11:19 PM

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Bartlett got lapped by Waukegan, lost its race against North Chicago too, and East Aurora flew just past the Hawks.

Still, this sprint-to-70 style is Bartlett's preferred choice of play.

"I love it," senior guard Luke Labedzki said. "This is my style of game. I hate the slow-paced games."

Finally, Tuesday, Bartlett won a fast-paced game. The Hawks led Mundelein most of the way and then didn't miss a free throw down the stretch in capturing a 92-84 win on the third and final day of pool play in the Jacobs Holiday Classic in Algonquin.

Bartlett (8-3), which got a career high-tying 33 points from Labedzki, won its pool with a 3-0 record. Mundelein (7-5), which was led by Iowa-bound guard Ben Brust's 32 points and 12 rebounds, fell to 2-1 in the tournament.

"Cary-Grove and Woodstock presented physical problems, body-size problems," coach Jim Wolfsmith said of his Hawks' first two pool-play opponents. "But Mundelein presents a tempo issue. My kids love to play fast, so I wasn't going to try to reign them in and slow the game down. We were going to run with them and say, 'We can outrun the running team' or 'We can outshoot the shooting team.' We did."

Bartlett outshot Mundelein at the foul line, too. The Hawks sank 23 of 24 free throws and were perfect in the fourth quarter, going 14 of 14 to stave off the Mustangs (18 of 25 foul shooting), who trimmed a 9-point deficit to two with a minute left.

Labedzki and Donovan Coleman (17 points) both went 6 of 6 from the stripe in the fourth, while Mike Banks (16 points) sank his pair of tosses.

"It won this game," Wolfsmith said. "Free-throwing shooting was the difference."

Despite staying close and even taking a 42-41 lead early in the third on one of Brust's three 3-pointers, Mundelein played catchup most of the game, falling behind by as many as 12 points late in the third. Two Mustangs were late for the morning shoot-around and 6-foot-8 Ryan Sawvell was in foul trouble most of the game. Sawvell still scored 11 points.

"We can't be like this," Mundelein coach Dick Knar said. "We're either real good or real bad. There's no in between for us.

"(Bartlett) is way too athletic and way too good to get down to," Knar added. "They all can handle the ball, they all can shoot. That's a very good team. That's one of the best teams we've played. Every position, they're long and athletic."

Bartlett led 72-63 in the fourth, but freshman guard Robert Knar sparked a Mundelein comeback. The coach's kid scored 13 of his 20 points in the fourth, canning a 3 off a Brust pass to pull the Mustangs within 80-78 with 1:17 left.

But after a Bartlett timeout, the Hawks beat the Mustangs' pressure and Coleman got the ball to Labedzki, who finished a baseline drive.

"They overplayed a little bit and I was able to sneak backdoor," Labedzki said. "Easy layup."

Coleman made all 6 of his free throws in the final 50.5 seconds to allow Bartlett to capture its pool and put the Hawks into today's 6 p.m. game.

"It felt good to win it," said Labedzki, who hit five 3-pointers. "It was a great game. (Mundelein) is a great team."

"They're good," Robert Knar said of the Hawks. "We tried pressuring the guards and they did a pretty good job. Give them credit for that."

St. Charles North 69, Prairie Ridge 36: Basketball is a game where player movement and unselfishness are never trivial. When combined with rugged defense it is a virtually impregnable fortress.

The St. Charles North boys teams displayed all three elements Tuesday evening at the Jacobs Holiday Classic in Algonquin, throttling Prairie Ridge 69-36 to advance to the semifinals for the third consecutive year.

The North Stars (8-5) will meet Upstate Eight Conference rival Bartlett (8-3), which outraced Mundelein 92-84, at 6 p.m. tonight. Prairie Ridge fell to 5-6.

"That's pretty darn close to the best we've played this year," St. Charles North coach Tom Poulin said. "We really wanted to defend their half-court sets. This is the most unselfish we've played. We made the extra pass."

Four of the five St. Charles North starters finished with double-digit point production to flavor the one-sided game in which the North Stars never trailed.

Chris Conrad hit back-to-back 3-pointers to jump-start the offense for the North Stars, who scored 8 of the first 9 points. Prairie Ridge would close to within two midway through the first quarter, but St. Charles North used a dominant 20-8 run to double up the Wolves at 28-14 late in the opening half.

The players were singularly united for the North Stars.

"We wanted to keep that St. Charles North tradition and reach the championship game," said guard Blakely, who finished with 12 points. "We were breaking them down tonight (on offense). We just wanted to run our stuff and take time off the clock."

Harassing the Wolves into a collective 11-for-51 from the field, St. Charles North ran the break to perfection, underlining the basketball adage that good teams score easy baskets.

When the running attack was slowed, the North Stars' patience was equally rewarded with its jump-shot arsenal or feeds into the post. David Johnson had 11 of his team-high 16 points after halftime, which ended with St. Charles North holding a 35-24 lead.

St. Charles North had more production in the third quarter than Prairie Ridge did in the entire second half. Poulin was able to substitute liberally over the last 10 minutes of play, and nine players ultimately found the scoring column for St. Charles North. Prairie Ridge had no solution for Josh Mikes' athleticism, and the junior forward augmented his 13 points with 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks. Conrad had all 11 of his points before the intermission.

"We try to pass up a good shot for a better shot," said Mikes.

Chad Ljunggren was the one bright spot for Prairie Ridge. The senior guard scored 15 of his game-high 20 points in the opening half.

"It was a very poorly-played game by us," said Prairie Ridge coach Corky Card said. "I didn't think we competed very well. They really stuck it to us."

Barrington 57, Jacobs 43: Jacobs scored first on Barrington in Tuesday's final game of pool play of the Jacobs Holiday Classic Boys Basketball Tournament.

That was the only positive vibe the host Golden Eagles could take out of the game.

Barrington (6-6) responded with 13 straight points and cruised to an easy 57-43 win over the Eagles.

"The kids really came out and did a nice job of executing offensively and defensively," said Barrington coach Bryan Tucker. "Our press was effective and it was nice to get an early cushion on the road."

Barrington finished 3-0 in its pool and will play in today's 7:30 p.m. semifinal against Zion-Benton (9-4) and Ohio State recruit Lenzelle Smith. Three-time defending tournament champion Jacobs (2-7) saw its 19-game tourney winning streatk snapped.

After Mike Peterson gave Jacobs the lead, the Broncos unleashed an aggressive full-court trapping press which forced 5 turnovers and led to 5 baskets.

Ben Bartz scored 6 points and John Schneider and Greg Gerrard had a basket apiece. Gerrard also nailed a 3-pointer and the Broncos led 13-2 with 4:11 left in the first quarter.

Barrington never relinquished the lead and it was an uphill climb for the Golden Eagles all night.

Barrington's biggest lead was 45-29 after three quarters.

Jacobs refused to quit and scored the first 9 points of the final quarter to slice the Broncos lead to 45-38 with 5:22 left in the game.

Nathan Wistehuff, Connor Conzelman and Nick Hofman Each had baskets as the Golden Eagles got within striking distance.

But, Jacobs couldn't get any closer.

Barrington won the game at the free-throw line in the final three minutes on 10-for-14 shooting.

Bryan Wegner made 5-of-6 free throws and Bartz and James Stack connected on 2-of-3.

"Barrington was the better team tonight," said Jacobs coach Jim Hinkle. "They were much more physical than us. We have played Fremd and Grayslake Central, who are physical teams and are similar to Barrington.

"We held our own against Fremd and Grayslake Central. Tonight, we couldn't match Barrington's physical play. We made a run in the fourth quarter, but they made their free throws at the end of the game."

Wegner led Barrington with 17 points, including 7-of-8 from the free throw line, and Gerrard scored 12 with a pair of 3-pointers.

Matt Schmidt led Jacobs, which was hindered by 25 turnovers, with 9 points and Peterson scored 8.

Wauconda 66, St. Edward 58: It took Wauconda senior Eric Hartnett a moment to remember Tuesday the last time the Bulldogs won a game at the Jacobs Holiday Classic.

He eventually recalled it being his sophomore year.

The Bulldogs ended that streak Tuesday in their final game of Pool IV play with a 66-58 victory over St. Edward.

"It's nice to finally get something out of this tournament," Hartnett said. "Hopefully we'll get a couple more and win the consolation B bracket."

Wauconda (4-8) finished third in the pool with a 1-2 record and will play Cary-Grove at noon today in the consolation B semifinals. The Green Wave (5-7) went 0-3 in pool play and plays Woodstock at 9 a.m. today in the consolation C semifinals.

The Bulldogs got off to a fast start and took a 12-3 lead less than 4 minutes into the game. Kyle Ryan hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored 8 points to spark the run.

St. Edward chipped away at the deficit and tied the game, 33-33, 15 seconds into the third quarter on a Mike Ellis 3-pointer. But the Green Wave were never able to grab the lead, though they thought they did before a DJ Byrnes free throw was waved off because of a lane violation.

"We played OK. We played from start to finish," St. Edward coach Keith Chuipek said. "They got a lot of layups in the first half. We were relying more on the outside shot."

The Bulldogs led 46-40 going into the fourth quarter, eventually leading by as many as 14. Hartnett and Matt Stonis each had 8 points in the quarter. St. Edward got as close as 6, 60-54 after a 7-0 run.

Wauconda had four players in double figures. Hartnett and Stonis each finished with 18 points. Hartnett added 7 rebounds. Tyler Gick had 13 and Ryan added 10.

"Normally we don't (have such balance)," Bulldogs coach Scott Luetschwager said. "To have four players in double figures is huge."

Byrnes led the Green Wave with 17 points off the bench, including hitting five 3-pointers. Ellis added 10 points.

Elk Grove 45, CL South 30: Scott Siwicki scored 12 points and Brian Battaglia added 11 points and hit three 3s as Elk Grove (2-9) took control with an 18-6 second quarter in the Jacobs Holiday Classic.

Joe Aguilar, Kevin McGavin, Brian Schaumburg and Dave Hess contributed