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South Elgin has targeted Jan. 10 as the return date for star junior guard Savanah Uveges from knee surgery, and the Storm also welcome back point guard Delaney Kelleher from vacation with her family next week.
In the meantime, the rest of the Storm players have hardly been sitting around marking off days on a calendar. South Elgin’s balanced attack and full-court pressure Tuesday night took down Jacobs 57-36 in a nonconference meeting. Kara Rodriguez and Nell Wentling led the way with 10 points apiece for the Storm.
“Kids are getting confidence and moving forward so that’s going to help us out,” South Elgin coach Tim Prendergast said.
Julia McIntosh scored nine points, Anna Tracy had eight points and five steals, and Kennede Miller contributed seven points and eight rebounds for the Storm (4-2), which forced 23 turnovers.
“I think we all have to step up now that (Uveges) is gone,” said Rodriguez, who also pulled down a team-high nine rebounds. “We just like to crash the boards. If anyone can get in there, we all should get in there.”
South Elgin’s press and rebounding raised the game’s tempo and the Storm got off 21 shots in the first quarter, making seven, en route to a 17-8 lead. Tracy tallied seven points and three steals in the opening quarter.
“They’re both very athletic and fast,” Prendergast said of Tracy and Rodriguez. “The two of them, they’re not tall. That goes for Kennede as well. We’re fast and athletic. We’re not going to play a lot of teams that aren’t bigger than us. We’ve got to use our quickness to our advantage and Anna and Kara have a lot of energy. Their cardiovascular is unbelievable.”
The lead never slipped below 10 points once the Storm went up 24-13 1:45 into the second quarter, although Jacobs did make a modest run behind Kelly Grady’s five points in the third-quarter to close within 39-29 with 1:58 left until the fourth quarter. Grady finished with a game-high 13 points.
“We’re looking for more scoring from different players this year and are really happy with the way Kelly stepped up early,” first-year Jacobs coach Joe Benoit said.
The Golden Eagles (0-6) have a torturous start to their season in terms of facing talented teams. The Storm is just one of many powers they’ll face until January.
“The competition we’re playing is top notch,” Benoit said. “Once we learn some things early on in this part of the season toward January and February you’ll start seeing a different ballclub.”
Jennifer Barnec (seven points) and Victoria Tamburrino (five points, eight rebounds) also contributed for Jacobs.