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Kapaun girls ride quick start to win

Published Feb. 14 at 11:11 p.m. | Last updated Feb. 14 at 11:13 p.m.

It can become easy to get caught up in the moment when things are going well for a good basketball team like Kapaun Mount Carmel.

Senior Janay Jacobs pleaded guilty to it Friday after the Crusaders’ 45-32 victory over visiting Bishop Carroll.

“We do get carried away, but what team doesn’t when you’re on fire like that?” Jacobs said. “We had to pull it back a little bit. We’re not in it to avoid losing. We’re in it to win.”

Jacobs, a 5-foot-9 guard, was Kapaun’s ring leader during a difference-making, four-minute stretch of the second quarter. She fueled a 14-2 run with two three-pointers and 10 points, which allowed Kapaun, No. 4 in the Class 5A coaches’ rankings, to overcome a second half that didn’t meet coach Marvin Estes’ standards.

Kapaun (15-2, 12-1 City League) kept pace with co-leader South in the league race despite shooting 18 percent in the second half. Jacobs finished with a game-high 13 points for the Crusaders, who shut out Carroll for more than five minutes after the Golden Eagles slashed a 14-point halftime deficit to seven early in the fourth quarter.

“We stopped running our offense in the third quarter,” said Estes whose team made 3 of 17 shots and committed six turnovers after the break. “We called out three different offenses, and we didn’t run any of them. We’ve got to work on that.”

Carroll (10-6, 8-4) placed its defensive emphasis on Kapaun’s leading scorers, Sam Bachrodt and Sydney Kuhn, and that part of the plan worked. Both finished with seven points and combined to make just 4 of 18 shots.

But Jacobs and guard Grace Hagan propelled Kapaun on a run that turned a 14-10 lead into a 28-14 halftime advantage. Jacobs made all four of her field-goal attempts, while Hagan’s three steals in the second quarter produced six Crusader points.

“We controlled Bachrodt and we controlled Kuhn, but we just didn’t get out on their other outside shooters as well as we should,” Carroll coach Taylor Steven said. “Our thing was to dig in and get out on them, and we didn’t do a very good job.”

But after Kapaun went 1 for 8 from three-point range and scored just five third-quarter points, Carroll pulled within 35-28 on back-to-back threes by Shelby Lopez and Madi Youngers in the first 2½ minutes of the fourth. Lopez led Carroll with 12 points.

But Carroll didn’t score again until Lopez’s two free throws with 16 seconds to play.

“We were kind of letting them do what they wanted to do,” Jacobs said. “They controlled the tempo. But we talked about it during a timeout that this is our game, our court and we’re going to get this game back.”

Kapaun pushed its lead back into double digits on a three-point play by Bachrodt with 2:25 remaining. While the Crusaders’ offensive performance in the final two quarters baffled Estes, he enjoyed their defense down the stretch.

“That’s a very good team, and any time you can hold a team like that to 32 points, you’ve got to be pleased,” Estes said.

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Carroll: Youngers 7, Lopez 12, Hogan 3, Miller 8, Maul 2.

Kapaun: Medina 5, Hagan 4, Bachrodt 7, Jacobs 13, Kuhn 7, Schaefer 7, Boswell 2.