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Jakubicek, Cary-Grove claim 4th straight regional
By Dave Hess | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 2/16/2013 1:24 AM

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Olivia Jakubicek probably slept very well Friday night.

Not only did the Cary-Grove senior enjoy a monster night offensively with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists, she was the key component defensively in holding Crystal Lake South standout junior center Sara Mickow scoreless.

Jakubicek’s excellence at both ends of the court keyed the top-seeded Trojans to a 54-40 win over second-seeded Crystal Lake South to win the championship of the Class 4A Crystal Lake South girls basketball regional Friday night in Crystal Lake.

It was the Trojans’ fourth consecutive regional championship. The 23-6 Trojans, who are 14-0 since Dec. 29, will take on Streamwood Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the semifinals of the Rockford East sectional.

“You expect Olivia to play well especially in big games,” said Cary-Grove coach Rod Saffert. “She’s Olivia being Olivia. She is so consistent. She played great at both ends. She was aggressive at the offensive end and she did a great job of denying Mickow the ball. That’s four regionals and four conference championships Olivia has been a part of.”

Jakubicek, 8-of-11 from the floor, started fast and never let up. She scored the Trojans’ first 6 points as Cary-Grove spurted to a 6-0 lead. The Trojans didn’t trail in the game.

“It was important we get off to a quick start,” said Jakubicek. “Our defense was great tonight. We played great defensively. We swarmed to the ball and forced a lot of turnovers. It was an intense game. I was just playing on adrenaline”

It was Cary-Grove’s defense which totally forced the Gators out of any offensive flow in the first half. Forcing 16 South turnovers, the Trojans led 29-14 at halftime. The Gators made only 6-of-20 shots from the field during the first 16 minutes.

“We just didn’t handle their defensive pressure very well in the first half,” said South coach Kyle McCaughn. “Sixteen turnovers in a half is way too many.”

The Gators didn’t give up and whittled away at the Cary-Grove advantage in the second half. The Gators got to within 39-33 on 2 free throws by Rachel Rasmussen with 5:20 left in the game. South couldn’t get any closer.

Making 8-of-10 free throws in the final minute and 30 seconds, the Trojans sealed the win and the regional championship.

Katie Barker and Joslyn Nicholson backed Jakubicek with 13 points each. Rasmussen paced the Gators with 15 points while Carly Nolan added 10.

“We played a lot better in the second half,” said McCaughn. “The girls never quit and we enjoyed a great season.”