Huntley advances to regional finals with win over Jacobs

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Huntley advances to regional finals with win over Jacobs

Huntley Red Raiders player attempts to score against the Jacobs Golden Eagles (M. Krebs).

Huntley Red Raiders player attempts to score against the Jacobs Golden Eagles (M. Krebs).

Huntley Red Raiders player attempts to score against the Jacobs Golden Eagles (M. Krebs).

Huntley Red Raiders player attempts to score against the Jacobs Golden Eagles (M. Krebs).

Marek Makowski

Huntley went back to winning on Tuesday night.

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The team, which has stressed a balanced offense and aggressive defense all season, snapped a three-game skid as it defeated Jacobs in the Dekalb 4A Regional.

Huntley player guards the ball against Jacobs players (M. Krebs).

“With it being the postseason, it’s a fresh start for everybody,” said Huntley coach Steve Raethz.  “We had to put behind the tough stretch we had to close out the season and I was really pleased with the mindset that our girls came in [with].”

Huntley’s three leading scorers this season all contributed with other 10 points each in a 59-38 victory to advance to the regional final.  Sophomore forward Sam Andrews, who led Huntley with 18 points, has been the Red Raiders’ leading scorer this season. In Friday’s Fox Valley Conference Division Crossover against Woodstock North, she consistently scored with the three-point shot, but in Tuesday’s game, Andrews went back to getting in the paint.

“I was looking to drive it more than shoot it,” said Andrews, who hit just one three-pointer against Jacobs but chipped in 11 rebounds.  “I think I did better at offensive rebounding and helping my teammates than taking shots that were unnecessary.”

Huntley started the game out strong on defense as it allowed just four points in the first period of play.  After it took a 28-11 lead into the half, the Red Raiders made sure to keep playing a consistent game.  The last time the two teams met, the Golden Eagles had a big quarter in the second half to pick up a 10-point win.

“It was very important to maintain and sustain the effort that we had in the first half and it was nice to see our girls come out at halftime and respond,” said Raethz.  “It just seemed like there was always somebody who was stepping up and giving us a lift at certain points of the game.”

The Red Raiders’ balanced offense came into play during the second half, as junior guard Haley Ream and senior forward Abbey Shaw finished with 17 and 13 points, respectively.

“It’s really important because if only one or two of us [scores] it’s not as diverse,” said Ream.  “If only Sam or Abbey is scoring, they’ll double-team them or pressure them.  If all three of us are scoring, it’s harder for them to pressure three players than one.

Huntley will look to win its second consecutive regional title as it faces Dekalb on Thursday night.  Dekalb cruised to a 69-28 victory against the Rockford Jefferson in the early before Huntley took on Jacobs.

“We look at it as a four-team tournament, that’s really what it is,” said Raethz.  “Now it’s down to two teams.  We’re going to come out and have a great practice tomorrow and come ready to go for Thursday.”

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