Girls Basketball: Grace Jakubowski leads Hampshire to regional titleHampshire's Jennifer Dumoulin (10) celebrates with her team after their Class 3A Sectional win over Woodstock North at Hampshire High School on Friday, February 17, 2012. | Kevin D. Sherman ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 18, 2012 12:14AM
It wasn’t exactly a smooth ride, but despite some bumps at times Hampshire arrived at its intended destination on Friday night. The Whip-Purs hoisted a regional title for the fourth straight year after defeating visiting Woodstock North 52-43. The Whip-Purs now head to Sycamore Sectional to face Kaneland on Monday night.
Grace Jakubowski led the Whip-Purs with 16 points. Michelle Dumoulin added 14 and Jennifer Dumoulin chipped in 12.
Hampshire (17-14) split a pair of games against Woodstock North foe during the regular season, including a nine point loss just 10 days ago.
“I’m real happy for the kids,” Hampshire coach Ed Haugens said. “They have worked hard and deserve it. I thought we made some nice adjustments from the last time we played them. I was proud of the way we handled the ball. It was one of the better games all year at limiting our mistakes. And I thought our decision making was much better. Last time we were firing up threes and this time we were much more patient working the ball around.”
The Whip-Purs missed their first eight shots. Jakubowski finally broke the drought over five minutes into the game with a three-point basket. Hampshire got on a roll after that to build a 21-8 lead midway through the second quarter.
“I think we were a little jacked up to start the game,” Haugens said. “Give North credit. They are a good team and did a good job of exploiting some of our weaknesses. But once we started calming down we got on track.”
North wasn’t going down easily. By halftime the Thunder had trimmed the lead to 23-16 and with a basket on their first possession of the second half they were within 23-18.
Hampshire responded with a 7-2 run to push the lead back to double-digits at 30-20. Elizabeth Panzica and Tiffany Bentley each had baskets down low to get the Whip-Purs back on track. Jennifer Dumoulin finished the run with a three-point play.
“We just had to keep playing as a team,” Dumoulin said. “North likes to push the ball up the floor, so it was important for us to stay calm. We’ve really stepped it up in the playoffs and now we hope to build off this and go for more.
Hampshire went on to build a 41-24 lead early in the fourth quarter. Jakubowski had a pair of three-pointers in the third quarter and then added five free throws in the fourth to help seal the win.
“I’m usually not as much of scoring threat,” Jakubowski said. “But they were packing it in on some of our other scorers, so that opened me up for some shots. We just all kept working together as a team to get the win. I’m ecstatic. We’ve come a long way and now we are bringing it all together at the right time.”