Huntley falls to Rockford Auburn in Sectionals


Chris Sawalski

Seniors Blake Jacobs, Kyle Slonka, Riley Wicks, Amanze Egekeze, and Zack Gorney would all start their last high school game Tuesday night against the Auburn Knights.

Entering the game with a 21-7 record, the Raiders had high hopes to continue in the State Tournament.

It looked good from the start with Egekeze winning the opening tip-off and finding Slonka behind the arc for 3.

After the opening seconds, it was all downhill for the Raiders. At the end of the first quarter they were down 14-7, by halftime the score was 25-18.

“We had 22 (turnovers) and 15 in the first half, that’s just too many, that’s really what hurt us,” said Manning.

It was a shock the Raiders were so close with 15 first half turnovers. Their great transition defense stopped Rockford Auburn from pulling away in the first half.

“We knew we were going to have our hands full on the defensive end, and I don’t think that’s where we lost the game,” said Manning.

When the fourth quarter began, the Raiders were down 39-30. There was no life on the offensive end for Huntley and Auburn was hot from three-point range, hitting almost 50 percent of their shots.

When there was little hope left, freshman guard Jack Bessey stole the ball from the Knight’s senior captain and drove through 2 other players for a layup. With 4 minutes left in the game, Bessey scored 6 in a row.

The Raiders, only down by 6, had a chance to come back, but after a few misfired shots and giving up some open looks on the other end, the game was decided.

With 40 seconds left, Manning pulled all of the starters to watch their season end from the bench. The Raiders fell to the Knights 61-49.

There will be no more boys varsity basketball games this season.