Girls Basketball: Dundee-Crown survives versus rival JacobsJacobs' Payton Berg (15) takes a shot over Dundee Crown's Emily Michalski (42) during the first half of their game at Jacobs H.S. Tuesday night.. January 17, 2012. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 17, 2012 10:00PM
Dundee-Crown post player Diamond Williams had trouble getting the ball through the hoop much of the night from in close, but when it mattered most against rival Jacobs on Tuesday night she had no trouble at all.
Williams hit a banker from right in front of the basket off a feed from Carlin Faulkner with 16 seconds left to play, and the Chargers survived for a 42-40 win after the host Golden Eagles’ Lauren Grady missed a free throw with no time remaining.
“It was an off-game, but I couldn’t let my team down,” said Williams. “Before the game, we were talking about if your shots are off, you’re sick or hurting, all you have to do is play hard defense and you’ll win.”
The Chargers did that as a team down the stretch, but still needed Williams to work inside for Faulkner’s feed. After going 1-for-8 from the field — all from in close — Williams banked it high off the board and through for the 42-40 lead after Grady had tied the score on a twisting layup with 40 seconds remaining.
“The basket at the end, she knocked it in when it counted at the end of the game and it was huge,” Chargers coach Michelle Russell said after her team stayed tied for first in the Fox Valley Valley with a victory over a team they’d beaten by 21 points on Dec. 6.
Williams finished with 15 rebounds and five points, and the Chargers outrebounded Jacobs 40-21.
“My goal was 15 or more rebounds and I got 15 today — it used to be 10, but I got better at boxing out,” Williams said.
The Chargers (13-7, 6-1) got 21 points and seven rebounds from Sanders, who fought off the effects of a bad cold, and 12 points from Faulkner, but would have been in overtime if Grady had been able to cap off a strong fourth-quarter effort with two free throws on a foul called as time expired with her trying to go up for a game-tying shot. Grady stood at the line alone and her first free throw went off the right side of the rim. Officials did not have her shoot the second one.
“We told her in the locker room that if it wasn’t for her in the fourth quarter, we would never have been in the position to do that,” Jacobs coach Keith Chuipek said.
Grady finished with a team-high 16 points, including eight in the fourth quarter. She tied the game at 38 with 58 seconds left on 1-of-2 free throws, but Sanders twisted inside for a go-ahead layup with 45 seconds left. Then Grady hit her twisting layup five seconds later. “I wouldn’t have called it our best game of the year, because at the end we had way too many turnovers,” Russell said. “But we found a way to win it.”
D-C made four turnovers in the final 3:46 but Jacobs had six fourth-quarter turnovers.
Jennifer Barnec had 10 points for Jacobs (4-16, 1-6), which had just ended a four-game losing streak in its last game.
“We’ve come a long way since the beginning of the season,” Chuipek said. “I keep asking them ‘what takes so long, what takes so long.’
“But we’re really proud of them. They started turning the corner at the (Wheaton North) Christmas tourney and learned how to win and I feel we’ve been building ever since.”